Jazz. Blues. Soul. There's something unique about a six-foot white girl who can bring it and sing it. That's what Shara's been doing since getting a taste of soul as a kid, at Jerusalem Church down in Pomona, Illinois, thinking, "Ooh, I wanna sing like that!" or vamping out with Lena Horne's "Stormy Weather" to her mother's piano playing.
It was a short trip from there to college musicals, and on to Chi-town, where she met Dave Greene while bartending at Toulouse on the Park. Greene hooked her up with legendary piano player Ruth Allyn, and Shara cut her chops sitting in with her Monday nights at Zebra Lounge. In the last 10 years, she's done time with some of Chicago's finest, like Karyn Sarring, Seth Riggs, Jim Sebastian, put her voice beside musicians all over the city, and opened for Stanley Jordan and Fareed Haque. Stretching out, she's worked with Sister Machinegun, Ann Hampton Callaway, and currently sits in with Von Freeman at New Apartment Lounge.
And though she connects with it deep down, the girl's by no means just "all that jazz." Drawing inspiration from everyone from Erykah Badu to Coltrane, Sam Cooke, Hendrix to Holiday, Minnie Riperton, Zoot Sims to Stevie Wonder, and a heavenly-voiced choir of many others, her music's indefinable but definitely hot and sultry, yet cool as ice.
Shara's music gives her a release and a connection to her audience, letting them feel the love and understand that our experiences are not new, but shared like a song. And if she can send you home with that vibe, thinking, "That was a good time!" then she's done it right."