Music club

Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club presents virtual concert with robed Shanna and Kemp Harris on Saturday


originally published: 12/11/2021

The Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club will feature Shanna in a Dress and Kemp Harris in a free virtual performance on Saturday. November 13, from 8 p.m. The links to the concert are available at

Kemp harris is a composer, musician, children’s author, actor and teacher. Born in North Carolina, Kemp learned the piano on his own and wrote songs at the age of 14. As a musician and songwriter, Kemp shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Gil Scott-Heron, and blues artist Koko Taylor. He has written and performed “If Loneliness Was Black” for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Complexions Dance Company. Kemp has also composed for WGBH Public Television / Boston.

Kemp’s album, “Sometimes In Bad Weather”, is a thoughtful tapestry, exploring the intersection of American Roots music, jazz, and African folk influences. Kemp’s second outing, “Edenton,” is a blues-inspired journey, featuring Grammy-nominated Holmes Bros. providing additional vocals. Kemp composed the soundtrack to “An Unreasonable Man”, a documentary on the life and career of Ralph Nader. It is now the theme song for Mr. Nader’s weekly radio show.

Kemp taught Kindergarten and Grade 1 in Newton’s public school system for 38 years. He wrote the

children’s book / song “Snow”. He has since retired, but continues to tell stories in elementary schools. Kemp looks forward to exploring all aspects of his artistic interests.

Shanna in dress is your eccentric best friend who refuses to wear pants. She says what everyone thinks but no one else will and you’ll get an uncensored journey of clever humor and heartbreak with a heavy side of entertainment on her shows. This witty wordmaker is known to make audiences laugh and cry, sometimes in the same song. Think Jason Mraz mixed in with Ingrid Michaelson with a touch of Phoebe Buffay from Friends, all wrapped up in a sweet voice accented by guitar, piano and ukulele.

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Shanna started her career at the University of Virginia, cycled across the country and fell in love with Colorado, and now her fun music is coming out of Boulder unless she’s touring the United States or Europe. You can’t get the same Shanna in a Dress show twice with her spontaneous banter and playful stage presence. She manages to masterfully switch the line to tackle complex subjects with intelligent but accessible lyrics. His songs are loaded with clever puns and delight audiences of all ages.

In 2020 alone, Shanna was a winner of the Kerrville New Folk competition, winner of the Great River Folk Fest Song Competition, semi-finalist of the Songwriter Serenade and emerging Grassy Hill artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Its first record crowdfunding campaign hit 50% of its goal on the day of its launch before falling to 200% of the original goal. The album titled “Robot” is slated for release in November 2021. Shanna is currently cycling across the United States and is on a musical tour to support the Pangea World Foundation and her debut record.

Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club has brought the best of folk music to Northeastern New Jersey since 1981. This year marks its 13th anniversary of presenting concerts, co-sponsored by the Borough of Fair Lawn, at the Fair Lawn Community Center. The Center has theater-style seating, a state-of-the-art audio system and professional lighting.

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