Savvy Shaina Taub is an award-winning songwriter, actor, musical theater performer, singer and musician based in New York City. Her songs have been noted to be “sincere, thought-provoking, and brimming with optimism, all the while being appropriately self-aware and very honest.”* Shaina often wraps the accordion around her lyrics and music. Instinctively, she understands that if an artist wants to be noticed and remembered, to include the piano accordion in one’s live performance is a way to accomplish that objective.
Politically outspoken, Shaina Taub’s self-produced debut album, “Visitors” begins with “When”, a song about gun violence. Shaina explains, “The rage we all feel, and the hope we all try to hold onto is crystallized through music as a healing force that allows us to take action”, and motivate change.
The Vermont native travels the world and her experiences have impacted her songwriting. “I’ve grown more interested in finding ways to fuse very mundane experience and very profound experience”. Shaina correlates “the absurdity and sadness of human experience and how funny that can be. I’m inspired by that balance: writing a doo wop song about dying and trying to find ways to juxtapose happy music with more intense subjects.” Always searching, Shaina Taub finds her muse in soul, jazz, funk, gospel, even Broadway influences and admits, “I love groove, and I love storytelling”.**
Her work has been performed by stars Audra McDonald at Carnegie Hall, Phillipa Soo, Sutton Foster at Lincoln Center and Sara Bareilles for the Netflix Series, “Julie’s Greenroom” and “Sesame Street”. Shaina Taub performed her own compositions in the Off-Broadway production of Bill Irwin and Bill Shriner’s “Old Hats”. “The message of her lyrics is responsive to current themes resulting in an upbeat, uplifting effect, which seizes the content of the piece that follows and causes an effortless flow. Her songs produce an intelligent perspective and support the material and Ms. Taub’s entertaining delivery is a joy to hear and experience”.***
Shaina Taub’s original soul-folk opera, “The Daughters” was featured in workshop productions at New York University’s mainstage season and a Cap 21 Theater Company. Her critically acclaimed original adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” was commissioned by the Public Theater in 2016 and followed with “As You Like It”. Both were seen on the Delacorte Theater stage as part of the Off-Broadway theater’s Public Works initiative. Shaina enjoyed a year-long residency in 2017 of monthly concerts at Public Theater’s Joe’s Pub, and each performance afforded her an opportunity to reveal new work and revisit past projects.
In 2017, Shaina Taub was named the recipient of the Fred Ebb Award given each year to an outstanding musical theater songwriter. She was the first female recipient of the Lucille and Jack Yellen Award and the Billie Burke Ziegfield Award for her songwriting. Shaina was also nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award for her role in in “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”.
As a performer, Shaina sang back-up for Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in “Stop the Virgins” and arranged and played the songs of Tom Waits in the American Repertory Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest“. Shaina performed in the original Off-Broadway cast of Anais Mitchell’s “Hadestown“ at New York Theater Workshop, and is featured on the live cast album. She played the role of Emma Goldman in the “Ragtime on Ellis Island” concert, and performed in “Off Center Jamboree” and also was a TEDx conference speaker. Shaina Taub is among “a breed of performers who, apart from being artists, are gravitational forces around whom others cluster like filings to a magnet”.As she influences, captivates and emerges as an artist, it is hoped that Shaina Taub will continue to employ the accordion in her work.
*(Molly Marinek, The Easy, “Old Hats” Review, 2-16-16) **(All of Ms. Taub’s quotes from Andrew R. Chow,”Snapshot” The N.Y. Times, 11-25-15)***(Joseph Verlezza, “Old Hats” Review, 2-19-2016)****(Stephen Holden, 3-27-2015, Review: Shaina Taub)