"She's got this amazing dexterity with musical languages... What she's doing is something completely new."
- Betto Arcos & Arun Rath, NPR's "All Things Considered"
Vocalist/composer Kavita Shah's debut album "VISIONS," co-produced by African guitar virtuoso Lionel Loueke (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Dave Holland), interweaves Indian, African, and Brazilian elements into a modern jazz setting. "VISONS" features 14 musicians from six continents, with a core ensemble of piano, guitar, bass, drums, Indian tabla, and West African kora. Together, they explore Shah's original compositions and arrangements of songs by Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, and rapper M.I.A. They also tackle Cape Verdean legend Cesária Évora's "Sodade" and a traditional Indian raga, both orchestrated for string quartet, and the Afro-Brazilian gem "Oju Oba".
"My experience of diaspora has not exactly been linear, but more like a kaleidoscope," Shah says. "So musically, I wanted to bring together different elements that I love, and combine them in a way that may be surprising to others but makes sense to me." Released in 2014 on Inner Circle Music/Naïve Records, it was hailed by critics as a "sparkling debut" (Boston Globe), "breathtakingly beautiful" (Downbeat Magazine), "daring and ambitious" (Jazzwise UK), and Best Vocal & Debut Album of the Year (Will Hermes, Rolling Stone).