Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Shane, Karen

Shane, Karen, jazz vocalist; b. Cleveland, OH, 4 March 1950.

Shane comes from a very musical family.  Her father (Ben Shane) was a performer in musical theater and sang in barbershop quartets.  It was through his love of harmony singing that Shane developed her keen sense of music.  Her aunt (Sylvia Kaden) was an classical singer and toured with the Robert Shaw Chorale; her grandmother (Mary Kleinman), a mandolin player of 40 years, taught Shane foundations of rhythm; and her cousin, Ruth Wallis, the well-known risque singer from the 50's and 60's, passed down to Shane that style and professionalism which has become so synonymous with Shane's performance.  In addition to her family, Ms. Shane also attributes her jazz singing influences to Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and Mel Torme, as well as the music of Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones, just to name a few.

Shane's professional musical background began in high school when she sang in a rock 'n roll band alongside singer/songwriter Eric Carmen.  This led her to Los Angeles and New York where she worked as a studio singer and also as a second engineer at A&M Studios.  From 1983 to 1987, Shane toured with American Ballet Theatre, performing in such places as The Metropolitan Opera House, The Kennedy Center and theaters in Japan.  She also performed principal roles in musicals such as "Pirates of Penzance" and "Grand Night for Singing," but her real passion has always been to sing jazz.

It's Anybody's Spring (1998)

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