When Amanda Shaw takes the stage, the petite fiddler commands the attention of the audience with a poignant and rhythmic sound that only a Louisiana prodigy could deliver. At the transitional age of 19, Amanda Shaw is a powerful performer, composer, and arranger who has been touring nationally and internationally since she was eight years old. She has recorded three critically-acclaimed albums, won a Big Easy Award for Best Female Entertainer and has even had two feature roles in Disney movies. The New Orleans native is a pioneer of the new breed of young, roots-based musicians who have embraced both the traditional sounds of Louisiana and the pop sounds of the mainstream.
Like many prolific artists, Amanda was engaged in music from a very early age becoming a classically trained violinist who—at the age of eight—became the youngest soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony. As her talent matured, so did her taste in music. Her parents nurtured her musical foundation by immersing their daughter in every diverse style that the universally recognized epicenter of music, New Orleans, has to offer. “I love how I can go anywhere in New Orleans and here an electric Jazz rift coming from one corner, and then a traditional Creole tune on the other,” exclaims Shaw. The Delta Blues, Zydeco, Jazz, and Brass are just a sampling of Amanda’s musical influences.
However, it was the emotional and passionate rhythm of the Cajun fiddle that drew Amanda’s musical ear. Amanda counts Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Chrissie Hynde, and Bonnie Raitt as her primary influences. Not only for their strong vocals and powerful styles, but also because they broke new ground with their crossover success and successfully integrating the sound of their roots to the mainstream. Amanda has spent her youth implementing the same mission as her role models, becoming one of the leading Cajun fiddlers today. Her deep talent led to becoming one of the youngest headliners at music festivals not only throughout the country, but also the world!
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. Shaw starred in the IMAX film, Hurricane on the Bayou (released in 2006), and is gaining an increasing national presence.
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.