After staying busy with music as best she could during the coronavirus pandemic, Amanda Shaw is thrilled to see in-person performances on her concert calendar again.
“I am so excited to get back in the swing of things,” the singer-fiddler said this week.
Following her April 30 show for the Front Porch Concert Series in New Orleans and May 8 performance at Pontchartrain Vineyards in Bush, Shaw is returning to Baton Rouge next week for a third straight outdoor gig. Appearing with her Cute Guys band, she’ll play the Manship Theatre’s Sunset Series on the Shaw Center’s terrace at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20.
A professional musician since she was 9, Shaw played almost no gigs during the past 14 months. That dearth of performances reinforced the significance of music in her life.
“As corny as the saying is, it’s really true: You don’t know what you have until it’s gone," she said. "I’m not sure ‘taken for granted’ is the right phrase, but I didn’t realize how special it is to connect with people through music.”
Shaw is doubly grateful that she’s part of Louisiana’s living Cajun music tradition and that audiences embrace her. Her activities during the pandemic included July’s release of her first album of traditional Cajun music, “Joie.” The project nods to her 20th year as a professional musician and the music that’s a key part of her repertoire. Its French title translates to "joy."
“I never claimed to be a traditional Cajun artist,” Shaw said. “But Cajun music has always clicked with me. I called the album ‘Joie’ because these songs make me happy, and we need to get back to happy music.”
Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys
7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20
Shaw Center for the Arts River Terrace, 100 Lafayette St.