November 15, 2015
I’ve been grappling with this song for a couple years. I began the lyrics in the months after the Newtown massacre, sobered by the chillingly routine media response to such an unimaginable tragedy, aghast at the lack of swift legislative action, and filled with sadness for the families. I first composed the music in the wake of Eric Garner's death, while actually hearing marchers shouting in the street below my Brooklyn window. I’m not yet a parent, but I wonder: How will I explain to my child a country where this kind of killing is the norm? I continued writing it in the aftermath of a seemingly endless wave of shootings, and one question persisted as I wrote: when will this ever end? With each new headline, the answer seemed inevitably to be: never.
I still hadn’t finished the song when I heard an older woman speak at a protest against gun violence in Union Square, and as she passionately called to the crowd, it hit me. This person has witnessed decades of blind eyes turned away to senseless bloodshed and still she has not given up hope for a better day. But here I am, still in my twenties, already defeated and resigned, moaning about when it will ever end. She made me realize the answer to my question is another question, bringing to mind the ancient wisdom of Hillel, ‘If not now, when?’. After hearing her, as I sat at my piano wrestling my hope and rage into a melody, I kept asking myself: what kind of song do I make now? A lament like the one I'd been writing? Or a rallying anthem? Or both at once? How can I use words and music to inspire and heal in the face of this volatile world? I’ve decided to open my new record with WHEN because there is nothing more urgent to me as an artist than this question.
NEW RECORD COMING SOON: VISITORS
Photography by Sasha Arutyunova
I’ve always pictured my soul as this big old house on a country road, containing all kinds of rooms, doors and windy staircases. There’s a room for memory, a room where I hide things I don’t want to think about, a room to hold my lost love and new rooms I never knew were there until a light turned on suddenly one day. And I’ve always imagined my emotions as visitors to this house of my soul. Coming and going. Invited and uninvited. Sometimes bearing gifts. Sometimes bearing bad news. Often a bit of both. I’ve realized I must welcome them all, from the joyful to the devastating. I’ve also always thought of good songs like visitors, showing up at your doorstep for a couple minutes, sent to open and break your heart. Hearing one is like a visitation from some kind of higher power. I hope the songs on Visitors will come knocking on the house of your soul, offering some healing and joy, maybe even returning for regular visits over the years.
It was important to me to make this record all at once, in seven straight days, so the listener would feel a wholeness to the experience of the album - a group of people gathered in a giant living room one night to make music. An ensemble of twenty-six musicians and singers is featured on the record, all of them close friends of mine. We never played to a click - the grooves are all organic culminations of years of us playing together. I want the listener to feel the live humanity of all of us in the space together, hearing the music as it would sound if you were standing right there with us - a warm embrace of natural sound.
I can't wait to share it with you.
September 11, 2015
After three years of writing and arranging, months of planning and rehearsing, and two incredibly rigorous and exhilarating weeks of recording at Vibromonk Studios, my first full-length album is officially tracked. I have so many people to acknowledge and thank, but the time will come for that soon enough. This project is a celebration of the musical community of friends and collaborators I've been working with for a decade now, and I truly can't wait to share it with you.
In the meantime, as we mix and master, here are some shots from our time in the studio taken by my amazing co-producer, co-arranger, bassist/guitarist/singer and all around musical partner-in-crime, Mike Brun. Out of the 26 musicians you'll hear on the record, only a few are pictured here, but I am so grateful to all of them for their artistry and generosity.
Jake Cohen tracking drums on day one:
The phenomenal Kate Ferber & Jo Lampert about to sing:
Matsu playing the plastic bags. It'll make sense when you hear it, I promise:
The multi-talented virtuoso Jas Walton on flute:
Our beautiful string players, Alon Bisk, Claudia Chopek and Mike Hunter:
David Farrell Melton, right at home on the organ:
The choir warming up, featuring 12 of my all-time singers of all time. This is the only photo I took, and not Brun. Hence its mediocrity.
March 22, 2015
Happy spring, everybody!
The big night is nearly here. I've been having such a great time rehearsing with my extraordinary ensemble of musicians and singers, and we are all getting SO excited to perform these songs for you at Lincoln Center on Wednesday night! CHECK out this fun rehearsal video the American Songbook series made to give you a little preview.
There are still a small handful of tickets left, so don't wait another minute to make them yours!
For those of you who can't be there, I have some great news - the whole thing is going to be LIVE-STREAMED. The video stream is totally free and starts at 8 PM EST. All you have to do is head to the Lincoln Center American Songbook website when it's show-time and we'll deliver the music right to your room.
I've been lucky to be at at many of the American Songbook concerts this season, and I'm blown away by the brilliant artistry I've seen in this unique and amazing series. I'm beyond honored for the chance to add my voice to it this year.
On Wednesday night, I'll be sharing the stage with many of the friends and fellow artists who are most important to me in my life as a songwriter so far. This concert will be a celebration of my first decade in New York, and the collaborations and community I've found here who have inspired me to make music for the rest of my life.
I can't wait to share it with you.
See you there, or tune in and watch!
September 22, 2014
Hello from San Francisco!
On our night off the show next week, my trio is going to play a concert at a beautiful venue in Berkeley - the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, sharing the musical evening with our good friends, the incendiary, infectious rock duo, The Bengsons. Here's details:
THE BENGSONS & SHAINA TAUB TRIO
FREIGHT & SALVAGE COFFEEHOUSE
Monday September 29th, 7:30 PM
2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, California
Please help us spread the word to your Bay Area friends!
July 24, 2014
It's been a while! I've spent most of this year so far out of town, working and traveling, from the snowy cattle ranches of Wyoming, to the neon lights of Vegas, to Cambridge, Nashville, and more. From performing Tom Waits songs in A.R.T.'s The Tempest to workshopping my musical, There's A House at the Vineyard Arts Project, it's been an exhilarating and exhausting many months. Now, I'm thrilled to be touching down at home here in New York for a few weeks!
CORNELIA STREET CAFE CONCERT
Before I head back out on the road, I'm playing a concert at the Cornelia Street Cafe this Monday night, July 28th! I'm sharing the night as a part of a very fun quadruple-bill with three extraordinarily talented friends - Benjamin Scheuer, Grace McLean and Sam Willmott. The evening of music starts at 8:30 PM, and my own set is at 9:30 PM.
The whole show is only $10. The venue is located at 29 Cornelia Street in the West Village. For information about reservations, visit their website.
I haven't played in the city since January, so I'm dying to share some new songs. Come on out - it's been far too long. I'd love to see you there, and say goodbye before I head off to...
I'm so excited to head to San Francisco this fall to perform in Old Hats, starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner, directed by Tina Landau. The show will feature a slew of my songs, and I'm bringing my trio along with me to play them! We'll be running at A.C.T. beginning September 10th. West coast friends, you can get tickets here.
JONATHAN LARSON GRANT
I was deeply honored to receive this year's Jonathan Larson Grant. At the award presentation back in April, I spoke and performed alongside some very special friends and collaborators. Here's a nice video of that.
Thanks for reading and for all the kindness and support. See you Monday night!
February 25, 2014
TOM WAITS AND SHAKESPEARE IN VEGAS
Hello from sunny downtown Las Vegas! I'm living here in Sin City until the end of April, rehearsing and performing in the A.R.T.'s new version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, featuring magic by Teller, movement by Pilobolus and music by Tom Waits. I'm singing the songs, and musically directing the production. We're running in Cambridge later this spring. Here's a great recent interview with Teller that gives you a sense of what we're up to over here. Also, my musical partner in crime, the inimitable Mike Brun, is in the show with me! Come visit us on this crazy, magical, twisted deserted island!
WRITING SONGS IN CABINS
Before Vegas, I was in the snowy mountains of Wyoming on the Sundance Institute's annual writing retreat at the Ucross Foundation, sitting in a little cabin, working on new songs for my Ars Nova-commissioned musical, Robin, a female-based re-telling of the Robin Hood legend. I'm lucky enough to be collaborating on that project with playwright Jen Silverman, whose dark, wild imagination and intelligence blow me away over and over again. I ate dinner every night with a small, wonderful group of hilarious, inspiring artists, saw bald eagles, and met actual cowboys.
I'm so happy to finally release these two new songs! We had some amazing sessions with the absolutely incredible artists at Mason Jar Music back in December. They do beautiful work, and we had a blast in their studio.
First off, Shaina Taub Trio & Friends present HARVEST:
And here's GIVEN, featuring the string section from The Great Comet:
You can get the tracks on my homepage. Thanks for listening.
NEW VIDEOS FROM OLD CONCERTS
Before I left town, we played one last big show until the summertime at the swanky and gorgeous midtown room, 54 Below. I've released a bunch of new live videos from that extremely fun show, as well as new vids from ST3's November concert at my new favorite downtown venue, SubCulture (check out this interview I did on their blog). I also put up some highlights of some phenomenal vocalists interpreting my tunes from this year's Songbook show at Ars Nova. Head to my Youtube channel to check out all of those if you like!
It was very sad to play my final performance in The Great Comet before I left the city. Being a part of that stunning show inspired me daily for nine months straight. I am missing the unbelievably talented, soulful and loving company of people so much. Thank you from my heart to all who made the experience and indelible one.
SH-K-BOOM AND RAZOR & TIE
Lastly, I'm so excited to kick off my collaboration with Sh-K-Boom Records and Razor & Tie Music Publishing as the first artist in their new joint venture in music publishing. I'm so glad the lines between theater and pop music are getting blurrier all the time, and happy that these intelligent, creative companies are supporting that fusion! Read about it here.
Thanks for the continual kindness and support. I'm excited to make and share more new music this year!
December 1, 2013
I'm wrapping up the year with a big concert at my favorite venue in town, Ars Nova, on Sunday December 8th at 8 PM!
I've been very fortunate to be in Ars Nova's inaugural Uncharted musical writer's group this year, and this concert is part of their year-end series showcasing each members' work.
It's also my second annual 'songbook' concert, where I have a slew of my very favorite singers perform my tunes. We had so much fun with it last year, we decided to make it a yearly event. Check out videos from the 2012 show here, and some featured live recordings here!
I'll be debuting a handful of brand new songs from my Ars-Nova commissioned musical, Robin, a female-driven re-imagination of the Robin Hood legend. I'm collaborating with an incredible playwright, Jen Silverman, on the project. She and I have been developing it over the past year in the Uncharted group, and I'm so excited to perform this music for the first time on the 8th!
There will also be songs from my Oregon Shakespeare Festival commissioned musical, There's A House, as well as an oldie or two from The Daughters, a few tunes off What Otters Do, the Shaina Taub Trio EP and several brand new ones from this past year of writing.
The main reason to come is the outrageously talented group of singers that are lined up to perform. I have such deep respect for each of these artists: Celia Keenan-Bolger, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Lauren Pritchard, Phillipa Soo, Brittain Ashford, Ali Stroker, Nick Blaemire, Jo Lampert, Kate Ferber, Molly Hager, Grace McLean, Andrew Butler, Caleb Hawley, Liana Stampur, Ben Wexler, Benjamin Scheuer, Catherine Brookman, Clinton Curtis, and Starr Busby.
And our amazing band Mike Brun, Jacob Colin Cohen and Dave Melton.
You can get tickets here.
Ars Nova has been my creative home for two years now and at this concert, I hope to honor and celebrate the incredible spirit of community, inspiration and downright fun I find within their walls. Please come join us on the 8th for what promises to be a wonderful night of soulful singing by the above listed vocal phenomenons.
And please check out my amazing fellow Uncharted member's concerts on the three previous evenings - read all about 'em here.
Thanks for reading and for the support.
Happy fifth night of Hanukkah to you!
November 10, 2013
just a few updates on this chilly November evening. hopefully this newsletter finds you in your warmest socks, sipping hot cider and munching on pumpkin seeds... at least that's what I'm doing as I write this...
CONCERT AT SUBCULTURE, NOVEMBER 18TH
My trio will be headlining the evening at a gorgeous new venue in the village called SubCulture on Monday November 18th at 7:30 PM.
We'll be playing a full set of our favorite material, and featuring special guests Dave Melton and Armand Hirsch.
And our very own Mike Brun, an exceptionally gifted songwriter in his own right, is playing a brief set to kick off the night at 7 pm.
I'd recommend getting a ticket in advance here. Only $12 (no drink minimum).
Hope you can join us for this special night of music - our last official trio show of 2013.UPCOMING RECORDING WITH MASON JAR MUSICWe're getting back in the studio in December to record two new songs, Harvest and Given. I'm thrilled to be collaborating on this project with the beautifully innovative production company and creative collective, Mason Jar Music. Look out for the videos and tracks in time for the holidays!NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812
I'm still performing as Mary eight times a week in The Great Comet, now playing in the theater district on 45th Street. If you haven't been to Kazino yet, come by for a truly amazing night of theater. Get tickets here, or try for the $49 rush tickets two hours prior to each performance at the box office. I play accordion and throat-sing. Don't miss it!
September 10, 2013
SAVE THE DATE: TRIO CONCERT
I’m excited to play again with my trio at Subculture, a gorgeous new venue in the village, . We’re thrilled to headline a show there on Monday November 18th at 8 PM. You can already get tickets here for only $12 in advance. This will be our last big show of the year, so come celebrate with us! And our very own Mike Brun is playing a solo set to kick off the night at 7:30 pm.
If you haven't yet checked out the Shaina Taub Trio EP I released at the top of the year, get the tunes here for just $4. I have sheet music and What Otters Do physical albums available as well. Your support helps me put out more music, and I truly appreciate that.
p.s. here's the trio's homage to Destiny's Child. enjoy.
June 23, 2013
Just a little reminder that I'm playing with my trio tomorrow night at Rockwood Stage Two! Here are all the deets:
SHAINA TAUB TRIO
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL, STAGE TWO
MONDAY JUNE 24th
SET STARTS AT 8 PM SHARP
196 ALLEN STREET BETWEEN HOUSTON AND RIVINGTON
NO COVER CHARGE
I'm particuarly excited about this show - we've had some excellent rehearsals digging deeply into our songs, and have created a special set list showcasing our favorite material so far. We're thrilled to debut a brand new tune, some trio-fied covers, and to feature special guests Dave Melton, Armand Hirsch & Kate Ferber. This is likely our only big show of the summer, so we'd love for you to join us.
And don't forget to come early for the amazing Jake Snider's set at 7 PM!
NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812
Also, I will not be performing in the show from July 7th thru July 13th, because I'll be at the Vineyard Arts Project writing songs for my new project commissioned by Ars Nova. I'm collaborating with the incredible Jen Silverman, and can't wait to tell you more about that piece soon!