“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
Leah Shoshanah is a Chicago-based singer, songwriter, cantorial soloist, guitarist and teaching artist with a mission to build community and facilitate healing through music. She performs in a myriad of settings and represents a wide variety of genres in her concerts, including jazz, folk, Brazilian, funk and rock and often improvises scat solos, songs and stories to bridge the connection between audience and stage.
Leah has released two albums featuring her original music, “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 played historic Chicago stages (Old Town School, the Green Mill, PianoForte Chicago), yet her favorite performances have been in yoga studios, living rooms, church basements and other grassroots community gathering spaces.
As a teaching artist, she supports her students in developing musical skills as tools for connection in addition to music as a vehicle for self-expression in performance. She believes that the most rewarding musical experiences happen between friends, families and communities who use music to connect beyond the limits of the spoken language. She also believes that a study of music supports self-understanding, and that the lessons learned from an instrument extend to all parts of a student’s life. Leah facilitates musical residencies in Chicago public schools through the Ravinia Festival and teaches Wiggleworms, adult group guitar and children’s piano classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
As a Cantorial Soloist for Jewish communities, Leah pays particular attention to the context and history surrounding her song choices, often focusing on music from lesser known composers and under-represented communities throughout the world. Her primary home is at Tzedek Chicago, a social-justice based Jewish community, where she sings, plays guitar and curates the music for services. Leah also writes original music that fuses Jewish and spiritual texts with English poetic adaptations.
Leah is currently focusing on writing and studying new music and collaborations with other Chicago-based musicians. She is working on integrating her musical identities into a new project with a focus on dance music and funky grooves.