Soul and jazz vocalist Shenel Johns leads One Love: Jazz Through the Islands, an exploration of the sounds of her Jamaican roots inspired by the old-school roots of reggae singer-songwriters. Johns is joined by an acoustic duo in this unique premiere connecting African rhythms to Jazz by way of the Islands. Repertoire to include rare Bob Marley cuts, Desmond Decker, Bitty McLean and gospel from the islands.
Featuring Shenel Johns (vocals), Gabe Schnider (guitar) and Matt Dwonszyk (bass).
Co-presented by Millbrook Arts Group
All Ages Welcome
With a voice that embodies grace and passion and a personal style that sways effortlessly from jazz to R&B to gospel, Shenel Johns has emerged as one of the shining stars of her generation. A native of Hartford, CT, Johns has been performing since she was fourteen years of age, and has developed a distinctive, eclectic style that has increasingly caught the attention of her peers and some of the industry’s top performers.
Johns received a bachelor’s degree in music management from the Jackie McLean Institute at the Hartt School of Music and studied performance with such jazz legends as Rene McLean, Jimmy Greene, and Nat Reeves. She has shared the stage with music royalty including Curtis Fuller, Hank Jones, Dionne Warwick, and Sheila Jordan, and has performed and recorded with an impressive array of leaders in the field including Dominic Farinacci, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Ronnie Burrage, and Eddie Palmieri, among numerous others.
In 2016, Johns completed a musical residency at Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha in Qatar and, several months later, honored Billie Holiday as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s New York production of “Billie and the Boys.” She has also performed a tribute to another of her idols, Lena Horne, at New York City’s famed Appel Theater, and toured throughout Russia in 2015 and 2016.
Most recently, Johns was the winner of the Riga Jazz Stage Competition this past April in Riga, Latvia, and was featured in the Hartford Jazz Festival in July with the Harford Symphony Orchestra as part of an Ella Fitzgerald Tribute. Johns has also premiered works at New York’s Museum of Modern Arts (Jacob Lawrence Installation of Northern Migration) and is a member of the George Gee Swing Orchestra that performs regularly in-and-around New York City.