“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 & guitarist whose soulful, original music deftly navigates the jazz, rock and folk genres. A concert with Leah is a journey through stories and songs that turn any venue into a living room and any audience into an instant family. Her music has been featured on WFMT's "The Midnight Special" and on historic Chicago stages, like PianoForte Chicago, The Green Mill and The Old Town School of Folk Music. Leah and her music have toured both coasts and garnered fans with every visit. Leah performs both solo and with her band, an ever-evolving cast of musicians, ensuring that no two shows are ever the same.
Leah has released two albums, “A Child Like This” (2017), featuring an ensemble of nine musicians and "Stillness", an intimate collection of solo voice-guitar Jazz and Brazilian guitar arrangements. In October 2018, Leah will embark on a national solo tour, The Brave Woman Tour.
"Trust me when I tell you that you should make a point of seeing Leah's live performance. She is truly one of Chicago's best." - Michael Teach, Founder, Chicago Acoustic Underground
"[Her] voice, both singing and spoken, caused me to take pause, listen, and appreciate." - audience member, Jim P.
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.
When Leah isn’t working on her own music, she teaches for Ravinia’s Music Discovery program and for the Old Town School of Folk Music. She also sings and plays guitar as a Cantorial Soloist for a social-justice based, non-Zionist Jewish community, Tzedek Chicago. Lastly, she teaches several private students and plays most gigs that she is offered that lie within her moral compass.