Shanta Nurullah is a storyteller, musician, and teaching artist. Her career spans over four decades of promoting African and African-American folklore, spoken word performance, children's and improvisational music. Shanta has performed across the U.S. and abroad and has received numerous awards, fellowships, and grants.
As a storyteller, Shanta presents programs of stories with music for youth and adults in schools, arts and community centers, libraries, museums, parks, colleges, churches, prisons, and festivals. Her repertoire includes traditional folktales, personal stories, historical lore and inspirational material. Shanta has told stories at the National Storytelling Festival, the National Festival of Black Storytelling, National Geographic, and the Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Las Vegas, and Yukon Storytelling Festivals. In 2014 she received the Zora Neale Hurston Award - the highest honor given by the National Association of Black Storytellers.
As a musician, Shanta Nurullah has distinguished herself as an improviser on sitar, bass, and mbira. A member of the legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Shanta co-founded the all women's bands Sojourner and Samana. In addition, she has played with Nicole Mitchell, Dee Alexander, Junius Paul, David Boykin, Tomeka Reid, Saalik Ziyad, and the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble.
Shanta owns the independent label, Storywiz Records, which released Sitar Black (2017), the debut album by Sitarsys, her current band. This music, categorized as Spiritual Jazz, is available on this website, and on iTunes, amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify.