Shanta Nurullah headshot

Shanta Nurullah

Musician & Storyteller
2021 3Arts Awards
Music

Shanta Nurullah makes music primarily on sitar, bass, and mbira, and works as a storyteller and teaching artist. She has been performing professionally as a musician since 1972 and as a storyteller since 1978. She co-founded two all-women’s groups, Sojourner and Samana, and currently leads the ensemble, Sitarsys.

A member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), Shanta has received an Artist Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Zora Neale Hurston Award from the National Association of Black Storytellers. She has performed in venues across the country, distinguishing herself as a sitarist and bassist exploring African American improvisational music. ShaZah, her collaboration with vocalist Zahra Baker, has been featured recently on several virtual platforms. Shanta teaches in the early childhood program at the Old Town School of Folk Music and is an advocate for women in music.

Featured Artworks

  •  Shanta Nurullah artwork Monday Night Jazz Green Line Performing Arts Center Photo by Rose Blouin
  •  Shanta Nurullah artwork Shanta with Mbira at Monday Night Jazz Green Line Performing Arts Center, Chicago Photo by Ken Hester
  •  Shanta Nurullah artwork Shanta with Sitar at Monday Night Jazz Green Line Performing Arts Center, Chicago Photo by Ken Hester
  •  Shanta Nurullah artwork Shanta with Sitar and the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago Photo by Lauren Deutsch
  •  Shanta Nurullah artwork Photo by Tony Smith