New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Moving one's home great distances can have great, even profound, effects on nearly anyone, but this may be especially true for musicians. From the moment she set foot in the Aloha State, classically-trained New Age violinist Nancy Shoop-Wu found herself under the islands' magical spell. The result was a burst of creativity for the consummate musician as she blended both genres she loved, combining them with the musical culture of her new home, to craft beautiful music with appeal across a variety of spectrums.
Born in Connecticut, Nancy Shoop-Wu began playing the violin at age 9, encouraged and bolstered by her music-loving father, a trumpet player himself, and her pianist mother. A fan of many styles of music, her father would whistle songs she was learning while the two bonded over cooking or doing chores. Tragedy struck three years later when he passed away when Nancy was only 12. However, the painful loss became the catalyst for Nancy to get serious about her goal of becoming a professional violinist.
Her musical studies took her first to Hartt School of Music
followed by Yale School of Music, where she studied with renowned violin teachers Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian. While still in conservatory, Nancy began auditioning for professional orchestras and received her first position with the Filarmonica de Caracas in Venezuela. After nine months, she returned to the U.S to finish her training. Within a year of graduating from Yale she had won positions in New Haven
Symphony, Hartford Symphony and Orchestra of New England. It was her next stop, however, which would change her life in a much more drastic way, when she successfully auditioned for a chair with the Honolulu Symphony and moved to Hawaii.
Once rooted in her new home, Nancy quickly developed a love and affinity for Hawaiian music, even as she was equally beguiled by the natural beauty which surrounded her. As a member of the Honolulu Symphony she began to explore a broader musical world, sharing the stage with not only top Hawaiian musicians, but also classical and genre crossing superstars from Yo-Yo Ma to Bela Fleck. At the same time she also began to reconnect
with her love for Celtic and New Age music, particularly the piano music of George
Winston. Like a slow-cooking stew, these various influences and inspirations blended over time inside the talented musician.
Then, in 2009, the Honolulu Symphony went bankrupt. This circumstance, much like the death of her father, became motivational for Nancy. Without a creative outlet, she yearned to ignite her creative spark, to share the beautiful melodies that had been coalescing inside her and reveal her musical vision and talent to a larger world. After hearing the soundtrack to the film Departures (composed by Joe Hisaishi featuring cellist Nobuo Furukawa), she was inspired to compose her own songs featuring the violin. Calling
forth her muse, she
began to compose in earnest finally finding her unique voice as a composer by blending her love of New Age, Hawaiian and Classical music.
Results sprung forth with two albums, Beautiful Mana'o followed by Rainbow
Road (both were produced by Derek Nakamoto and feature two of this era's most-acclaimed Hawaiian slack-key guitarists, Jeff Peterson
and Ian O'Sullivan). The latter album was a finalist for Hawaii's Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2016. Nancy is re-releasing Rainbow
Road in January 2017 with bonus tracks from her first release Beautiful Mana'o.
Nancy Shoop-Wu's life evolved in a life-altering and affirming way with her move to Hawaii. She states, "I have had the privilege of living in Hawaii for half of my life and have found my home here on this 'Island of Rainbows.' I was raised in Connecticut, but it was in Hawaii that a new dimension of musical expression and spirituality opened up for me. I wrote these songs to uplift and transport the listener's heart beyond their daily existence to a another world - the world of beauty and wonder that lies within us all."
Known for her soulful and expressive playing, violinist and singer/songwriter Nancy Shoop-Wu blends her love of new age music and classical training with the impressionistic magic of the Islands of Hawaii. These uplifting songs for violin, piano, Hawaiian guitar, acoustic bass, drums, and percussion capture the beauty and Aloha spirit of Hawaii. Rainbow
Road is Nancy's second CD and was a finalist for Hawaii's Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2016. This 2017 re-release of Rainbow
Road includes bonus tracks from her first recording, Beautiful Mana'o. Nancy's consummate musicianship on the violin is framed by pianist Derek Nakamoto who also produced this album. Rainbow
Road also features two of this era's most-acclaimed Hawaiian slack-key guitarists, Jeff Peterson
and Ian O'Sullivan as well as Nancy's debut as a singer on the track "Carry Me Home."