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Leah Shoshanah – Album Release Concert

June 4, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave
IL 60605
Leah Shoshanah - Album Release Concert @ PianoForte Studios

Leah Shoshanah’s debut album, titled, “A Child Like This”, is the result of a four-year long recording process. The title refers to the birth of the album as well as the content of the album, whose songs weave together the joys, struggles, beauty and pain of growing up.

The recording process began in 2012 with the song, “Somewhere in Africa”, which tells the story of two student’s Leah worked with as part of a drama teaching and directing residency in the township of Rammolutsi, South Africa. Despite their distance across the sea, the dreams and everyday challenges of the pair turn the listener toward memories of their own child self. The album follows with a series of songs infused with vulnerability and truth, autobiographical yet relatable to all. The album’s title track was written for the child of a family that provided a safe home from a dangerous relationship, the vulnerable lyrics of “Dear Daughter” describe Leah’s experience with abortion, and the song, “Lessons from My Mother”, contains the most important lesson of all— that no one is perfect, “that’s not what life’s about”.

Armed with borrowed microphones and a laptop, Leah self-produced the album, often carrying equipment to musician’s homes and practice spaces to record accompanying instruments. In January 2017, Leah launched a crowd funding campaign to support the project. Due in part to the generous donations made by fans, friends and family, Leah was able to complete the album as of May 2017.

On June 4th, Leah will play the songs from her long-awaited album with an ensemble featuring all of the musicians on the record. This unique, one-time concert will include upright bass, violin, piano, cello, back-up singers, guitars, mandolins, ukulele, and melodica.

Chicago based singer-songwriter Leah Shoshanah weaves together the musical styles of American Folk, Brazil and Jazz to create beautiful, personal songs. She has performed worldwide in a myriad of situations, from intimate house concerts to on stage with the South African National Opera company “Opera Africa”. Leah’s songs are equal parts honest, playful and openhearted. She finds inspiration in her family, her work with children, and travels, from the American Wilds to the South African townships. She performs on acoustic steel and classical guitar, joining expansive melodies to syncopated grooves. Her eclectic musical style has drawn favorable and diverse comparisons to artists like Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morissette and Astrud Gilberto.

Leah comes from an artistic family. Her father, David Cowen, composes music and plays cello and piano. Her mother is a painter and mixed media artist. Leah began studying Suzuki violin at age 5, and promptly quit because she hated practicing. Her musical path continued as such, trying out and quitting instruments like piano, saxophone, and cello. A natural performer, she gravitated toward voice and began studying classical music at age 12. She continued on to study and perform Opera, Musical Theater, and Jazz throughout high school and college. A battle with vocal nodules in 2009 put an abrupt pause on Leah’s singing career, so she pursued a career in professional acting post-college. In 2010, her work in theater brought Leah to South Africa, where she taught workshops for schools in the township of Rammolutsi and for the Market Theater Laboratory. She also sang in a production of Carmen with Opera Africa, her first time singing since rehabilitation from vocal nodules.

Leah’s 7-month long stint in South Africa was perhaps the most influential experience in her becoming a singer-songwriter. During her stay, she revived her career as a vocalist and soaked up the energy of the South African theatrical scene, which embraced original, devised performances. There, she learned not wait for someone to give you an opportunity to make art, but to make it happen for yourself. Upon returning to Chicago in the fall of 2011, Leah resumed her musical career in a way that wove together her passions for poetry, performing and singing. She taught herself to play guitar, immediately began writing songs and has been performing original music ever since.

Today, Leah studies Brazilian guitar and performs Jazz, Brazilian music and original songs (both solo and with various ensembles) around Chicago. She also teaches music and yoga to preschool students.

PianoForte Chicago, Inc. Showroom: 900 N. Michigan Ave, 6th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611 · PianoForte Studios: 1335 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60605

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