Shara Maxwell – Chicago’s Premier Vocal Vixen
When Shara enters into the room, the audience stops. Standing at six-feet and engaging a delightful, velvet-like voice, this vocal vixen personifies the core of classic jazz and blues standards, carving a nook in the hearts of her listeners.
Shara’s musical prowess runs deep. Coming from a line of musicians, Shara’s mother—adept in piano, clarinet and accordion–encouraged the young songbird to experiment in the world of melodies; and thus, her melodic world blossomed.
Shara was mesmerized by jazz and in adulthood, jazz would be the passion that would turn into her career.
The cardinal moment stood when her eight-year old son pleaded to her one night “Please don’t stop singing.” Shara reveals: “that was a pivotal moment for me, hearing my 8 year old beg me not to stop. I knew this was what I was meant to do.”
And that she did.
Shara has been featured at Chicago’s top venues, including Pops for Champagne, The Drake Hotel, Underground Wonder Bar, Sip, Zebra Lounge, Biggs Restaurant, Gibsons and others.
Along with gracing the stages of Chicago’s hot spots, Shara has also collaborated and performed with Chicago’s finest–a long list of respected artists including Tommy Muellner, Dave Green, Lloyd Wilson, Willie Pickins, Bob Solone, Dave Gordon, Mark Burnell, Joel Barry, Rob Amster, John Bany, Dennis Luxion, Hans Luchs, Brian O’Hearn, Steve Ramsdell, Charlie Braun, Jim Cox, Phil Gratteau and Samuel Jewell, Eric Schneider, Alejandro Urzagaste, Joe Policastro, Dennis Luxion, Jo Ann Daugherty and Jon Deitemyer. Prior to her main-stage days, Shara has also sung background vocals for the Indie Rock band- Sister Machinegun which propelled her breakthrough credits opening up for Stanley Jordan and Fareed Haque.
In fact it was popular saxophone player, Von Freeman, who bestowed Shara with the nickname ‘Long, Tall and Mellow” not due to her model looks, but as a result of his admiration of her vocal dexterity and style.
Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Sam Cooke, Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone and Minnie Riperton are amongst her influences. Pulling from these ageless masters and merging her mystical, hot sultry sound is what makes Shara Maxwell so unforgettable. Connecting listeners to songs of the past in a way that makes the music instantly fresh and inviting, Shara is exhilarating. Everything old is new again.
Pure charisma demands the audience to fall in love with the sounds and presence of this lovely vixen.