Photo Credit: Jess Benjamin

Photo Credit: Jess Benjamin

“Through her unbelievably adaptable voice, Leah Shoshanah shifts tones frequently... but balances folk minimalism so well. Nothing is simple in her messages or in her brilliantly written songs.” - Chaz Thoughts

Bio

Leah Shoshanah is a Chicago-based singer, songwriter & guitarist whose soulful, original music deftly navigates the folk, rock and jazz genres. She is a poet who vulnerably shares the quintessential moments of her life through songs about family, nature, love and spirituality. In the past, she has been the bandleader for several projects in Chicago. This Fall, Leah embarks on a solo Brave Woman Tour, a musical exploration of courage through concerts in traditional venues and house concerts from coast to coast. The tour celebrates her upcoming single (release date TBA) and will provide a platform for Leah to develop her voice as a singer-songwriter.

Leah has released two albums, “A Child Like This” (2017), featuring an ensemble of nine musicians and "Stillness" (2018), an intimate collection of solo Jazz and Brazilian guitar arrangements. Leah and her music have toured both coasts and she has been featured on historic Chicago stages, like PianoForte Chicago, The Green Mill and The Old Town School of Folk Music.

When Leah is not touring, performing or writing original music, she sings and plays music for Tzedek Chicago, a social-justice based Jewish community. She also works as a teaching artist in Chicago Public Schools.

Early Life

The daughter of a cellist and painter, Leah was fostered into the artistic world from birth. Yet, she consistently rejected a traditional musical path in favor of self-study, intuition and (what seemed like) circuitous wandering. From age 5, Leah started to play and quit every instrument on the planet (mostly violin, piano, saxophone, cello)… except for the voice! She spent her young adulthood bouncing between poetry, classical music and acting. She almost went into a dual degree in Opera and Acting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but somehow ended up leaving with a degree in Journalism. Somewhere in that time, Leah developed vocal nodules and thought she would never sing again, so, after college, she became a professional actress.

And then… acting led Leah to South Africa and South Africa led Leah back to music. In 2010, she was invited by an NGO to teach drama workshops and direct a play in the township of Rammolutsi. Shortly thereafter, she fell from a tree and got bit by a giant dog within the span of a few weeks, grounding Leah in Johannesburg to heal. The need for an income (and purpose) drove Leah to audition for a role in Opera Africa’s Carmen. Carmen marked Leah’s return to singing and the beginning of her professional musical career.

Leah moved back to the US in 2011, where her unfinished degree in music stopped her opera career short. Not fully committed to devoting her life to operatic training, Leah chose another musical path— she bought a guitar and started writing songs. Four months later, she began performing around Chicago, and has been performing ever since.