Kendra Shank

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Kendra Shank
Born (1958-04-23) April 23, 1958 (age 61)
Woodland, California, U.S.
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1980s–present
LabelsMapleshade, Jazz Focus, Challenge
Associated actsFrank Kimbrough

Kendra Shank is a jazz vocalist.


Shank's mother was an actress and playwright and her father was a playwright and teacher at the University of California.[1] When she was five, she appeared onstage with her mother in Threepenny Opera.[2] In her early teens she started playing guitar.[3]

Shank attended Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Washington, receiving a degree in art and French. During the 1980s, she performed in clubs in Seattle as a folk singer, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. In 1989 she studied with jazz vocalist Jay Clayton at Cornish College of the Arts.[4]

She got a job with Bob Dorough in 1991 while he was on tour. Shirley Horn saw her perform and became her mentor, introducing at the Village Vanguard in 1992.[4] During the same year, Shank released her debut album, Afterglow (Mapleshade, 1992). She met Frank Kimbrough through Horn, and he became a member of her quartet which recorded A Spirit Free (Challenge, 2007), a tribute to Abbey Lincoln.[2] She has recorded with Lincoln and with Gary Bartz, Peter Leitch, Ben Monder, John Stowell, and Larry Willis.



  1. ^ Hebert, James (10 December 2014). "UCSD playwright Adele Shank dies". San Diego Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Skelly, Richard. "Kendra Shank". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Kendra Shank: Biography". Kendra Shank. Retrieved 19 December 2017.

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