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SHAULA KITAN WALKO

Born in Pennsylvania and based near Temecula, California, Shaula Kitan Walko is a talented steel pan musician with ties to the San Francisco Bay area. Shaula possesses an academic acumen built upon world percussion styles, jazz studies, and performative arts while at San Diego State University. However, Shaula's upbringing sparked a musical interest that continues to this day. "I remember making up melodies on [electric organ] as far back as about three years old. It was a natural desire for me to want to play it. In the home, we listened to classical music and Polish/Central European polkas/folk music and dances. I didn't want to start listening to much rock/pop music until high school. In fourth grade, our school music program offered an orchestra and I chose the violin. Within a couple of years, I was performing solo pieces and duet pieces on stage. I was principal second violin...for the San Jose Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Eugene Stoia." Shaula also played in an orchestra for the Humboldt Light Opera Company and a Baroque music chamber group, along with Taize music at church after high school. World fusion knows no bounds, as Shaula played violin with the San Diego State University Finnish folk music group: Suddenly Finnish. The steel pan or steel drum addiction began after taking a summer music course at CSU-Long Beach. It was taught by a Trinidadian, Ray Holman. In the early 2000's, Shaula experimented with solo gigs, founding a local reggae/rock/hip hop group named Steel Foundation, and began finding new ways to introduce the steel pan's laid-back and happy sound to local and regional audiences. The new instrumental steel pan sound is known as 'pan nouveau,' according to Shaula.


Shaula's experimentation and performance of various musical styles and influences throughout the years shine through on the double-seconds steel drums (or steel pans as they are more accurately described). In addition to instrumental steel pan music performance, Shaula hones her talents as a composer, transcriber, notation whiz, arranger, recording aficionado, and bamboo mallet maker. Shaula is a solo artist that is less interested in lyrics and more interested in the effects of musical composition on the listener. "I love how music can transcend language and move people's emotions." Even Shaula's little Chihuahua dog helps in the musical process: "...[i]f the chihuahua is singing along when I play, the song is ready for the show." With a sound diverse and original, Shaula does not have any comparative names of other artists to list, but several artists inspire Shaula, including Duke Ellington, Carmen Dragon, Stéphane Grappelli, Count Basie, Andy Narell, Pink Martini, Yerba Buena, Outlandish, and Gipsy.cz. If Shaula has any spare time, it is devoted to reading, working on puzzles, cooking, films, ballet, opera, and museums.


Shaula created her own production company, Bent Bamboo Records and Entertainment, as well as her own publishing company, Shady Lady Music, ASCAP. The artistic control and direction helps preserve the original and cover songs on her first, full-length release in 2014 titled: Pan Nouveau. The album contains an instrumental mix of classic covers, including, but not limited to, "Red, Red Wine," "Kiss Me," "Margaritaville," and "Under The Sea." Each song carries on the traditional steel pan sound with a few other instruments of percussion, electronica, and strings. There are eighteen tracks in all.


Shaula's relaxing, new age, and world fusion concoctions are ideal for occasions where people can carry on conversations, due to the relatively quiet sound and relaxed atmosphere of a live performance. Additionally, the music is perfect for Christmas or holiday programs. Its instrumental nature provides a musical experience free from wordy distractions. As a 'pan ambassador', Shaula loves to "give information and tell stories about pan." The most consistent comment Shaula receives from people is that her music is "really pretty." In fact, Shaula likes music of all styles and genres. "I try to be innovative with my music, trying new things and trying old things in new ways. I try to incorporate various styles of music into my arrangements and compositions." On making-it in music, Shaula's desire for playing at "someone's event is to add that extra touch that makes their event extra special and memorable. When I see someone dancing, singing or otherwise really enjoying the music I'm playing, in that moment, I'm 'making it.'" For more information, including song clips, please visit the official website and the Steel Foundation Reggae website.


Links:

Official Website: http://www.shaulakitan.com
Steel Foundation Reggae: http://www.steelfoundationreggae.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shaulakitan
CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/shaulakitanwalko

— Matthew Forss, Review You



 



CONTACT:   SHAULA KITAN WALKO            TEMECULA, CA            (951) 212-5485           

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