Shana Tucker

Cellist. Singer-Songwriter. Arts Advocate. Teaching Artist. Collaborator. Cultural Conduit.

In each role, Shana Tucker is a builder-of-connections, whether she’s associating STEM concepts with backbeats or engaging a packed house through candid song-storytelling in performance. Shana’s unique genre of ChamberSoul™ weaves jazz, roots, folk, acoustic pop, and a touch of R&B into melodies that echo in your head for days. Of her work, Shana says, “I’m intrinsically drawn to acoustic instruments because of their resonance, warmth, and intimacy. ChamberSoul brings the musicians and their audience close, and makes the music tangible, no matter how large or small the room is.”

A Long Island, NY native, Shana studied cello at Howard University in Washington, DC, where she took her first dive into improvisational performance and honed her singer-songwriting skills. She later received her degree in Violoncello Performance from CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with master cellist Marion Feldman. Shortly after the release of her debut CD, SHiNE in 2011, Cirque du Soleil recruiters heard an NPR interview with Shana about her ChamberSoul songwriting and performance style, they invited her to be cellist/vocalist for their show, KÀ in Las Vegas, where she performed for five years before returning to North Carolina.

A sought-after collaborator, Shana performs and records with legendary jazz saxophonist/composer Bennie Maupin, jazz flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell, Grammy-nominated NuSoul collective The Foreign Exchange and countless others. Recent North Carolina collaborations include performing a cello/vocal duet with soprano Andrea Edith Moore for Singing on the Land, a project presented by the NC Department of Cultural Resources and Come Hear NC that coordinates musicians to perform acoustically at historic sites across the state; They Are All, an exploration of living with Parkinson’s Disease, presented at American Dance Festival 2019 with Culture Mill choreographers Murielle Elizeon and Tommy Noonan; Continuing To Tell, a multidisciplinary public-space performance presented by Proxemic Media that highlights the history of Civil Rights in Durham, NC; and Kamara Thomas’ Country Soul Songbook series, also featuring Rissi Palmer, Kym Register and Phil Cook. 

Shana was recently named the first-ever Artist in Residence at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts in Asheville, NC for their 2019-2020 concert season. In Spring 2018, Shana was Resident Teaching Artist at Springhouse Community School in Floyd, VA, where she co-presented Courageous Conversations, a semester-long course about racism, intersectionality and how to be an authentic, effective ally with Jenny Finn,  Head of School. 

A recipient of several grants, Shana was awarded a professional development grant in 2019-20 from United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County, and has received two Nevada Arts Council grants, including the prestigious Artist Fellowship for her exemplary work as a Performing Artist. Additionally, Shana has served on review panels and advisory committees for arts organizations across the country, including United Arts Council (Raleigh, NC), South Arts (Atlanta, GA), Durham Arts Council (Durham, NC) Nevada Arts Council (Carson City, NV), and NCPC ArtsMarket (Durham, NC). 

Shana is a board member for Blair Publisher (formerly Carolina Wren Press), a North Carolina-based small-press organization that publishes diverse minority writers of quality fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature; NCPC – North Carolina Presenters Consortium, a professional organization of artists, agents and presenters; and Floyd Creative Studios in Floyd, VA. Shana also serves on the advisory board for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, an annual event in Washington, DC that celebrates and promotes women jazz artists through concerts, jam sessions, lectures, panel discussions, masterclasses and a young artist competition.  

A front-line advocate for arts education, Shana is an accomplished teaching artist, with over 20 years’ experience with community engagement, workshops, lesson planning and artist residency facilitation. Working with students from Pre-K through college and lifelong learners, Shana is currently an Artist Fellow with A+ Schools of North Carolina, a teaching artist with United Arts Council of Raleigh/Wake County and Durham Arts Council, and has been a teaching artist with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts since 2015.