March 6, 2017
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first two Joe's Pub concerts! This residency is off and running and I can't wait to keep it rolling with the next one coming right up a week from today on Monday March 13th at 9:30 PM. Our last two shows sold out in advance, so go get your tickets while supplies last!
A few little teasers about this March show...
I'm debuting a new song about standing up to bullies in a world without any grown-ups in charge, inspired by... well, every day in our country's strange new (sur)reality. Come hear me try to make sense of it all in a quasi-gypsy rock song. I'll also be continuing my cover series featuring work by the legendary artists whose portraits hang on the Joe's Pub 'wall of fame' just left of the stage. This month, I'm playing an accordion arrangement of a tune made famous by Alan Cumming. It's my favorite waltz about apathy and the rise of fascism. Just keeping things real light, folks!
In all honesty, the sense of love and community I get on these nights at Joe's Pub is a big part of what's keeping me going in all this madness. Thank you for sharing it with me. Hope to see you Monday night!
In other news, I'll be singing a song by my phenomenal mentor, the great Elizabeth Swados, this Wednesday March 8th in Lincoln Center's American Songbook concert honoring her prolific, prophetic work. I wouldn't be writing music if it weren't for Liz. Come revel in an evening of her radically powerful work. Tickets are still available here.
P.S. Save the date for the next Pub show: April 28th, on sale now, featuring special guest Ato Blankson-Wood!
February 11, 2017
Thank you to everyone who packed the Pub a few Fridays ago to kick off our Joe's Pub residency! I hope you enjoyed listening as much as I loved playing for you. In this tumultuous time, I'm so grateful for a chance to be together in a room with all of you making music and celebrating community. Let's do it again really soon. Next show is coming up this Friday February 17th at 7 PM! There's a smattering of tickets left, so I encourage you to go get them while you still can.
Photo by Kevin Yatarola
A few special things about this February show...
I'm thrilled to feature the exquisite Nikki James as my special guest this month. Nikki played Viola in Twelfth Night last summer at the Delacorte, and is one of the most mesmerizing performers I've ever seen. We'll be doing a tune from that show and another fun surprise!
Photo by Sara Krulwich / New York Times
I'm also debuting a new song inspired by The New Colossus, the sonnet by Jewish poet Emma Lazarus that's inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. I've been seeing her lines 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' a lot lately, scrawled on protest signs at rallies in support of immigrants and refugees, and they are more haunting and vital than ever. This song is my humble take on her words. I'll also be kicking off a new site-specific cover song series with an arrangement of my favorite Leonard Cohen tune. All this to say, I'm greasing up my accordion and getting giddy with excitement to play for you again.
Go ahead and save the date for our next couple shows on sale now: March 13th, April 28th, & May 19th. More special guests and summer dates to be announced soon!
In other news, I'm psyched to share that I've written the theme song for Julie's Greenroom, a new Netflix series starring Julie Andrews, featuring new puppets from the Jim Henson Company. The show is all about teaching kids the value and wonder of the performing arts. At a time when funding for the arts is under attack, I'm proud to be part of a project that is helping a new generation learn the importance of creativity. You can watch a trailer featuring Sara Bareilles singing a clip of my song here!
Thank you for continuing to support independent music and hope to see you Friday at Joe's!
January 13, 2017
Happy new year everybody! Let's get straight to work. There's a lot things to raise our voices about right now, and I'll be singing out all year long as an artist-in-residence at Joe's Pub in their 2017 Working Group. I'm so honored to be chosen alongside these four amazing artists and grateful to have the support of such an inclusive and visionary institution as I make more music. You can read more about the group here. I'll be playing a monthly show at the Pub and the first one is coming up REAL soon on Friday January 27th at 7 PM! Get those tickets before they disappear!
I've got official shows on the calendar through May, and the rest will be announced soon, but for now, save the dates and book the tix: February 17th, March 13th, April 28th, & May 19th. It's been nearly a year since I've played a for-real concert, so I'm VERY psyched to play a batch of new stuff.
Oh and hey, for all of you got to see my musical adaptation of TWELFTH NIGHT this summer at the Delacorte, and for those of you who missed it too, I recorded a collection of demos of the whole score and you can listen to it here for a name-your-price download. Collaborating with the Public Works community gives me genuine, radical hope for the future in this alarming time and I'm so excited to continue working with them - stay tuned for exciting news about this summer!
July 23, 2016
Hey everybody! It's been a while since I've sent an update, so I'm sorry for such a long one. But I'll try to keep it interesting with lots of pictures!
CONCERT WITH JASON ROBERT BROWN - JULY 27TH
The brilliant Jason Robert Brown has a monthly residency at SubCulture, and I'm honored and delighted to be his special guest for July. We're putting together an epic set list - covering each other's tunes and more. It's happening this Wednesday July 27th at 8 PM. Get your tickets here!
Last Saturday, I got to perform at City Center in my extraordinary mentor Jeanine Tesori's Off Center Jamboree, starring Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff. It was pure joy. Sutton beautifully performed my song Room, which blew my mind. And City Center just released a video my performance of my tune WHEN, which you can watch here:
Thank you to all of you who have come to see Hadestown at NYTW! Singing Anais Mitchell's gorgeous folk songs every night under Rachel Chavkin's magical direction has been heavenly. Stay tuned - our live cast album will be released soon!
OLD HATS ALBUM
Speaking of cast albums, we finally recorded a short album of a handful of songs from Old Hats, which you can get here. I'm so glad to finally have these out there for those of you who have been asking for these tunes - I hope you enjoy them!
RAGTIME ON ELLIS ISLAND
I'm massively excited to play the radical bad-ass activist Emma Goldman in a concert version of one of my favorite musicals Ragtime in August, presented on Ellis Island, starring a whole bunch of folks I admire, including narration by the legendary Brian Stokes Mitchell. Sadly, tickets are not available publicly, but hopefully it will happen again! You can read more about the site-specific production here.
SESAME STREET SONG SUNG BY SARA BAREILLES
I've been having so much fun writing songs for Sesame Street over the last year, and recently I got to write this tune for the incredible Sara Bareilles to sing on her special guest episode. Getting to write music for one of my favorite voices on this legendary show was thrilling. You can watch and listen to Just Like Magic here!
TWELFTH NIGHT AT THE DELACORTE
Before you make plans to head out of town for Labor Day weekend, save the date for my musical adaptation of Twelfth Night happening September 2nd thru 5th at the Public Theater's Delacorte Theater in Central Park, presented by Public Works! More about that in my next update.
Thanks for all the support. And if you read this whole damn thing, I appreciate you even more.
July 12, 2016
The concert will feature all twenty-five musicians featured on the record, playing the whole thing straight through. Strings, horns, wailing vocalists, the works. Come see us attempt to squeeze ourselves on the Joe's Pub stage! There's still some tickets left, so hurry up and get yours here.
And if you haven't checked it out yet, you can download the album here. Thanks to all of you who have listened already.
I'm having a criminal amount of fun playing my songs every night over at the Signature Theatre in Old Hats, alongside master clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner, directed by the inimitable Tina Landau. We're A New York Times Critic's Pick! And I even have a special discount for you. Get your tickets here, and enter the promo code SHAINA for 30% off to performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I fully guarantee you will laugh so hard it hurts.
The inspiring folks at Creator Magazine recently featured me with this lovely article where I talk about writing and my obsession with Destiny's Child. Here's a photo from the piece taken by Lauren Kallen.
December 28, 2015
Thank you. I'm overwhelmed by your love and support for Visitors.
Making this record was an exhilarating challenge and a deep joy and it means a great deal to me that so many of you are listening to the songs.
You can download the album here, or if you already have it, gift it to a friend.
SHAINA TAUB SONGBOOK, VOl. 1
I've been working on this all year and am so excited to finally share my first anthology of sheet music. The songbook features 20 songs including all the tunes from Visitors, old favorites from What Otters Do and many more. It also comes with versions that have the full vocal arrangements so you can perform them in ensembles. Get the whole songbook, or any of the songs individually at my new online sheet music store. Many of you have been asking for these charts for a while now, so thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoy them!
December 22, 2015
I've been writing this project for months and am so excited to share with you that I'm creating a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night for the Public Theater that will be performed this summer at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park as part of the Public Works initiative, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Learn more about the show here!
Public Works is a major new program of the Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators, deliberately blurring the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well. I'm humbled and elated to be involved in this extraordinary effort and I encourage you to read more about Public Works here.
Here's a shot from last summer's Public Works production of The Odyssey. See you in September in the park!
December 16, 2015
The album is HERE! I give you VISITORS. Download it now.
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE NOW
As of today, Visitors is out in the world digitally on Bandcamp. Get your download now and maybe even gift it to a friend too. Hard copies will be available in the new year!
Thank you to all the incredible artists who worked on the record and to all of you who have supported my work for so long. Happy listening!
December 15, 2015
Click below to read my recent interview with the New York Times!
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.