Bio

Shanna Carlson (Vocalist/Pianist/Composer)

“Carlson's gently swinging way...carries with it conviction and displays with abundance a talent for
conveying the inner message of the lyric in a
bedroom-warm contralto.”

W. Royal Stokes JAZZ TIMES

She has been singing and playing in and around the Bay Area since she was twelve, starting with playing for her church and later moving on through weddings, private parties, big bands, small combos, concerts, jazz festivals, recordings, musicals and radio and TV appearances.

“She has an appealing and clear voice, a strong sense
of swing and at times sounds like a mix of Rosemary
Clooney and Ernestine Anderson, straddling the
boundary between jazz and middle-of-the-road
cabaret music.”

Scott Yanow JAZZ LINK

She has appeared with Joe Williams, Buddy Montgomery,
Bruce Forman, Joe Henderson and others.

“Shanna Carlson...clearly talent deserving wider recognition... vocally she covers all the bases and shines through as a fine pianist and composer as well...good taste and real musicality.”

Dick Conte, KCSM-FM

In 1994 she released her first CD "Swing High, Swing Low" featuring the title track written by Carroll Coates and six originals penned with lyricist Ken McKenzie, as well as such standards as "The Very Thought Of You" and Duke Ellington's “Love You Madly”.

“The highlights of Swing High, Swing Low for me are
Carlson soaring into "Looking At You", giving the Cole
Porter gem a fresh, ebullient read...and the six-pack of originals which demonstrate that she is not only an
exquisite interpreter of standards but also a composer.

Dan Ouellette, DOWN BEAT, STEREOPHILE,
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

In 1995 she composed twelve tunes for, and performed in,
the one-woman musical “Roads Taken” with book
and lyrics by Ken McKenzie.

“...her greatest asset is her ability to put a song across, with an intensity and conviction that forces you to really FEEL the lyric. This is because she so obviously feels it herself...”

Ken McKenzie

She has appeared at the San Jose Jazz Festival,
The Plush Room, Yoshi's, Stanford Jazz Vocal Series
and many MANY others.

“Shanna Carlson is a vibrant, passionate singer...
a wonderfully creative performer, who crafts a fine line between strength and sensitivity.”

Marian McPartland, JAZZ PIANIST/
HOST OF NPR’S ‘PIANO JAZZ’

In addition to performing in virtually every city in the Bay Area, she has appeared in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Dallas, Carson City and Prescott, Arizona as well as Sweden, Norway and England.

“Shanna has a beautiful voice with a smoky-sultry
edge and a dramatic presence that's exceptional among singers. She makes a classic lyric come alive...an artist who constantly surprises you with new things and interesting twists on old standards."

Robert Tate, JAZZ NOW