Whitney Shay to perform at The Belly Up Tavern
A two-time San Diego Music Award winner for “Best Blues Artist,” vivacious young vocal phenomenon Whitney Shay sings with a commanding authority that’s usually associated with artists twice her age. The excitement that Shay is currently generating, through her live performances and her new album, A Woman Rules the World, has its roots in the artist’s lifelong love for music and performance.
After witnessing a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the age of three, she immediately joined a theatre company upon returning home. She’s been performing ever since. In 2009, Shay made the leap from performing in theatrical productions to fronting a band and belting blues, jazz and swing material. By then, she’d developed a singularly powerful voice and a riveting stage presence. Those assets have won her an enthusiastic audience on her home turf, where she performs more than 200 shows per year.
Shay’s talent and charisma are on display throughout A Woman Rules the World, her first new album in six years and her first to showcase her original songwriting. The album is a smart mix of original tunes and covers of classics by the likes of Little Richard and Dinah Washington, with a compelling undercurrent of female empowerment.
“The album mirrors my journey, and this year it really seems like a lot of things are coming to fruition with the women’s rights movement,” says Shay. “It really resonates right now, because people are sick of the status quo.”
In addition to her popularity with club audiences, Shay has also become a welcome presence at West Coast music festivals, including the Doheny Blues Festival, the Gator by the Bay Festival, the San Diego Blues Festival and the San Diego Music Awards. She’s toured internationally, including many acclaimed visits to Brazil.
Little Village Foundation is a non-profit cultural producer and record label that searches out, discovers, records and produces music that otherwise would not be heard beyond the artist’s family and community. Little Village supports the dreams of artists from non-traditional backgrounds. Many of these artists make music just as a part of telling their community stories. Through some detective work and the help of an extensive network from his acclaimed performing career, Executive Director Jim Pugh learns of great music happening in communities throughout the country, music that has deep roots in American popular and roots traditions. He then offers to record their music at no expense to the artist at all. Usually this is the very first time the artist has been recorded. Not only is there no expense to the artist, Little Village Foundation owns zero intellectual property for the music and sets up all retail accounts for the sales of CDs in the artists’ names. This happens with generous public donations and grants.