Pianist and composer Sila Shaman’s work spans a wide variety of genres including concert music, jazz, musical theater, film scores, electronic and experimental music. Born in Ankara, Turkey, she moved to USA in 1993 to study composition and jazz improvisation where her teachers included Robert Helps, Jerry Bergonzi and Joanne Brackeen. For the next decade she has written for, performed and recorded with many ensembles including Kim Bock Quartet, Spindle, Greenwich Blue, Dan McMillion Groovin’ High Big Band, Robin Hackett, SDS Trio, poet laureate Lawson Inada as well as her own quartet featuring Rich Perry and Ari Hoenig. In 2004, her debut album as a bandleader, A New Abode was released on SteepleChase Records. Selected as an Album of the Week pick by NPR's Jazz with Bob Parlocha, this recording has had extensive airplay in the US and Europe. She followed this with several releases from Louie Records in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Dave Storrs including First Encounters (2009), Dark Transparency (2010), At the End of the Day (2018). Her latest jazz trio release, First Time Again(2019) can be heard on all major digital platforms.

Her latest projects include dance piece Venezuela for RASTRO Dance Company, the score for Brindlebeast, a new musical in voice, song and American Sign Language with book and lyrics by Anita Riggio; original score to feature documentary Sisters in Freedom for which she received two 2019 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards and the TV pilot Perception from creator/director PJ Posner. She currently lives and works in NYC. 

Her concert music works include Songs of Self (2003) for piano and soprano, SP (2009) for two pianos and vibraphone, Miniatures (2010) for piano, clarinet and electronics, Songs of Imagination (2016) for the young pianist and The Dream Writes(2017) for soprano, viola and piano based on poetry by Wendy Salinger. She has been a member of Composers Syndicate, Sonic Possibilities Ensemble, collaborated with Boston-based Mobius Art Collective, artist Brian Felsen and choreographer Julieta Valero.


For the last decade and a half, due to her interest in collaborative and visual applications of music, she has also been composing and recording music for film, theater and multimedia. Her credits include scores for Catskill Chainsaw Redemption, a short film by Emmy winning writer J.R. Havlan of “The Daily Show with John Stewart”; documentary First American Art; documentary 9/11-Ten Years On for History Channel; Being a New Yorker Cartoonist, short film by cartoonist Liana Finck presented by the Daily Forward; music for the play Terrotica, by Brad Krumholz, staged by NACL at the Ohio Theater in NYC and the musical Spin with book and lyrics by John Frohnmayer, starring David Ogden Stiers.

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© 2020 by Sıla Shaman