"It's really exciting finally getting to play in Long Beach," Shayna Adler said. "I love it here, it's my hometown and I've been waiting to finally play here."
Adler is a fifth generation Long Beach resident, Wilson High School graduate and a lifelong musician. Her grandfather built their family home on Orizaba Avenue around 100 years ago, she said, adding that she doesn't plan to leave the city anytime soon.
"I'm actually living in the back house that my great grandfather built for his parents to live in," she said. "When I say my roots are here, I really mean that."
As a student at Wilson, she played the saxophone in the school's marching band and the violin in the orchestra, she said. She comes from a long line of Bruin alumni, she added, with graduates including her parents, aunts and uncles.
"My whole family went to Wilson,” she said. "I had a teacher during my freshman year in 2002 that met me and said 'Oh man, we have another Adler here'."
Fast forward to her entering the workforce after graduating in 2006. She's made a career making music, with a resume that includes an audio engineering background as well as an acting tour manager for the Robby Krieger Band, formerly known as The Doors.
"I wasn't an artist first," she said. "I started out as a recording engineer, and I just kept moving in the direction of the music."
Her decision to pursue a solo music endeavor was sparked recently while taking a break at the studio she currently works at in Los Angeles. She said that she was playing her guitar and singing a tune just for fun, when her boss walked in.
"One time there was downtime and I had a guitar in my hand not planning to sing for anyone," Adler said. “My boss walked in and heard me and said ‘This is what you need to be doing; you should be making music'."
She added that she didn't immediately start pursuing it, but the pieces started falling into place. She first launched a successful cover of the song "Cleopatra" by The Lumineers, and now she's on track to release her first solo album in April.
"My sound is kind of folky and gypsy, it sounds Americana, but isn’t country," she said. "I try not to constrain myself to one thing. Some songs have jazz tunes, but I wouldn’t describe it as jazz, there isn't really a sound like me that I can compare it to."
And while Adler prepares for her first Long Beach show on Friday, she still is maintaining her full time job at the Los Angeles recording studio, moving into her solo endeavor one step at a time.
"My first single, 'Stage Coach Sally' will be out in May," she said. "It's been a lot of work, and there's a lot of steps to take, but I'm proud of what I've done so far."
Adler is performing a free show from 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at Viento y Agua, 4007 E. Fourth St.
For more information about Shayna Adler, or to listen to "Cleopatra," The Lumineers cover, go to shayna.world.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.