New Orleans-based singer, songwriter, fiddler and actress Amanda Shaw is part of a new breed of young, roots-based musicians who have embraced both traditional and pop sounds, creating music that is both authentic and bold. At the age of 16, Shaw is a seasoned entertainer with a substantial audience across the southern U.S., and, through her starring role in the IMAX film, Hurricane on the Bayou (released in 2006), is gaining an increasing national presence.
For the past three years, her self-released CD was among the top ten best sellers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where she also drew record crowds. She’s also received numerous local awards, including a Big Easy Award for Best Female Entertainer when she was only 14. With the release of her Rounder Records debut, Pretty Runs Out, Shaw is poised to take her dazzling showmanship to the national stage.
Attracted to the violin at the age of three after hearing an orchestra on television, Shaw first studied classical music, and became the youngest performer ever to solo with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, at the age of seven. Although she is not of Cajun descent, she became captivated by local Cajun and country fiddle styles, and was soon leading her own band, playing Cajun fiddle tunes, originals and, eventually, covers of pop songs by the likes of The Ramones and The Clash.
Word of her talent and exciting performances spread quickly. She performed twice on The Rosie O’Donnell Show (1999 and 2001), opened locally for Charlie Daniels and played onstage with Cyndi Lauper. With her charismatic on-camera presence, she was recruited to star in two Disney television movies, Now You See It (2005) and Stuck in the Suburbs (2004). On the brink of teen stardom, Shaw chose instead to pursue a different path, applying herself ever more seriously to her music.
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