Lizz Wright's 'Shadow': A 20-Year Celebration Album with Angelique Kidjo & Meshell Ndegeocello

Article Contributed by JP Cutler Media | Published on Monday, March 18, 2024

Acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright embraces her newfound freedom with a classic recording that encapsulates an illustrious 20-year career since the release of her debut album, Salt (Verve, 2003). Wright's studio debut on her label Blues & Greens Records (with licensing/distribution through Lightyear Entertainment/Virgin Music), the forthcoming album, Shadow, solidifies Wright as one of the great modern American singers. Wright celebrates intimacy, loss, community, and healing.

On Shadow Wright pens five originals including "Root of Mercy," "Circling," "This Way," "Sparrow" which features Angelique Kidjo and "Your Love" with Meshell Ndegeocello. She showcases along with her own works singular renditions of songs by Cole Porter, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Sandy Denny, Candi Staton, Toshi Reagon, and Caitlin Canty.

Wright invited her musical family to Chicago to record with renowned engineer Ryan Freeland (he recorded her latest studio album, Grace) -- who recently engineered Bonnie Raitt's GRAMMY Award-winner, Just Like That. Shadow was produced by longtime collaborator/music director Chris Bruce (Seal, Bettye LaVette, Sheryl Crow) and was executive produced by Lizz Wright. Other performers and collaborators include Adam Levy, Lynne Earls, Justin Hicks, Morley Kamen, Jack DeBoe, Ben Zwerin, Kenny Banks Sr., Glenn Patscha, Deantoni Parks, and Rashaan Carter. Featured contributions also include violinist Trina Basu and Carnatic violinist Arun Ramamurthy, harpist Brandee Younger, composer Hanna Benn, and Chicago-based string players.

Without A&R reps and the pressures that inherently come from record labels wanting artists to fit into a specific genre, Wright makes the album she's always wanted to record. Anchored by acoustic guitar and bare emotion, Shadow presents Wright in a gentle and triumphant light.

Wright says of Shadow, "It finally came to be my turn to lose a defining love in my life, my grandmother Martha. Something about the way she loved me gave me the backbone to stand and sing in front of rooms of strangers all these years and never feel alone. She made the world seem small and warm. Watching her long transition made me think about the impression that her love has left on me and what I was going to do with it. Shadow is the result of patiently feeling and exploring grief while also celebrating the kind of love that becomes more apparent and powerful in the presence of loss and uncertainty."

Chris Bruce comments, "Shadow is a new chapter for Lizz Wright and we're very clearly articulating her vision with diverse layers of music threaded together on the album. She's an innovator that carries a much-needed spirit of humanity and energy in her music. People really respond to the calm and joy she brings. Lizz will always be able to reinvent herself in the best ways and this truly is among her greatest gifts."

For the photoshoot supporting Shadow, Wright enlists Hollis King (former VP and Creative Director at Verve Music Group) to be the photographer. King notes, "Lizz Wright is unapologetic, bold, and full of courage. Our photoshoot was deeply personal, and it was an honor to be behind the camera. Lizz is an artist who peers into the future. She sings with a maturity of love and a softness to let us all in." The Shadow album cover features Wright in a sleeveless patched and hooded dress by German designer Sabine von Oettingen, gold earrings by Elementality (Asheville, NC), necklace with gold pendant by Milagros Mundo (Amsterdam, NL), and jewelry by BURKINDY.

Wright nurtures a sound and feel of America that is solely her own. Shadow exposes an unbridled confidence and courage in Wright. Music fans will be delighted to hear singles such as "Sweet Feeling," "Root of Mercy," and "Your Love" set for release throughout autumn 2023 and early 2024 as Wright leads up to the much-anticipated full album release by Blues & Greens Records in April 2024. To read detailed descriptions for all the songs featured on Shadow, please download this PDF (Lizz Wright -- Shadow -- Track-By-Track Descriptions -- One Sheet).

Blues & Greens Records is Wright's innovative label venture designed to position artists to build sustainable and wholesome careers. Blues & Greens Records seeks to create a healthy ecosystem for artists as it uplifts and centralizes humanity in the music business with wellness offerings and sound business practices at the forefront.

About Lizz Wright:
Renowned vocalist and songwriter Lizz Wright sings a soaring reflection of the cultural fabric of America. She lies beneath the script of history, transcending social divides with an offer of love and deep sense of humanity. Her music accepts the beauty of reality and creates a collective experience of belonging for the listener. Wright's songs embody a tradition that allows us to always feel at home.

Wright culls inspiration from her Southern upbringing in Georgia where she was the musical director of a small church in which her father was the pastor. The call and response singing with the church congregation was her first brush with music. Soon she would traverse the Great American Songbook on her path to becoming a beloved international treasure.

At the age of 22, Wright first made a name for herself nationally as a vocalist with a touring concert tribute to Billie Holiday. At 23, she signed with Verve Records for the release of Salt, which topped Billboard's contemporary jazz charts. She went on to record for Universal Music Group and released the albums Dreaming Wide Awake (2005), The Orchard (2008), and Fellowship (2010). On Concord, Wright released Freedom & Surrender (2016) -- featuring the single "Lean In," which landed on President Obama's Summer 2016 playlist -- and Grace (2017). Wright's (2022) release of Holding Space (a live recording of a concert in Berlin at the Columbia Theater) was her debut live album on Blues and Greens Records.

Lizz Wright – North American Spring 2024 Tour Dates
April 5 - 7, 2024 -- Brennan's Bar & The Carlyle Room -- Washington, DC
April 10, 2024 -- City Winery -- Philadelphia, PA
April 11, 2024 -- Jimmy's Jazz & Blues Club -- Portsmouth, NH
April 12, 2024 -- City Winery -- Boston, MA
April 14, 2024 -- City Winery -- New York City
April 27, 2024 -- Koerner Hall -- Toronto, ON
April 28, 2024 -- Space -- Evanston, IL

*Additional tour dates will be announced soon on