SILKY SOUNDS – Calgary-based singer/songwriter Maura Shaftoe performs Nov. 13 at The Matchbox.

Calgary’s Maura Shaftoe to wow ‘em at The Matchbox

Singer/songwriter offers extraordinary melding of jazz and pop

  • Nov. 4, 2010 4:12 p.m.

Fueling momentum behind her latest exquisite release Unsteady, Calgary singer/songwriter Maura Shaftoe performs Nov. 13 at The Matchbox.

Performance time is 8 p.m.

Shaftoe describes her music as folk and jazz-influenced pop with a splash of country thrown in for good measure. Her current tour showcases folk songs, sophisticated standards, plus covers of Canadian artists and lots of tremendous original tunes.

“I grew up in a home where we listened to a really diverse range of music,” she explains during a recent chat. There was pretty much a bit of everything in her parents’ collection, from Harry Belafonte and Vera Lynn to Roger Whittaker.

Her mom was also a singer, yet it wasn’t a career path her folks particularly encouraged for their daughter at first.

“Later on, when I decided to start singing professionally, they were very supportive and were supportive from that time forward. I think they realized you have to do what you love.”

But Shaftoe didn’t initially set her sites on a musical career.

She worked in the automotive industry for about 20 years as a service manager. She’s also been a personal trainer.

During those years, music was never far from her heart.

“I would take singing lessons when I could afford it and had the time.”

After the birth of her son she took on a fresh perspective about her life’s direction.

“I decided I wasn’t going to be someone who wouldn’t aspire to anything new,” she recalls after settling into the welcome routines of parenting. So she stepped it up a notch singing-wise, performing more at venues and honing her songwriting skills.

A debut CD was eventually released in 2003.

After that, she started a consulting business and took on more responsibilities with her parents as their health began to fail.

In 2008, she decided to put together another recording and it was during that period her mother passed away.

Unsteady and its title track are dedicated to her mother.

The song is a beautiful and poignant work of tender reflection with opening lyrics ‘All those years of mental preparation/Knowing you were leaving day by day/Unsteady, swimming in a quiet desperation/Hoping against hope that you would stay.’

These days, Shaftoe is all the more dedicated to her music. It’s a fabulous way to connect with people, and she treasures those moments when listeners approach her after a show to comment on how a tune has touched them.

Getting used to performing took some time, as Shaftoe points to the vulnerability that often comes with expressing oneself via the power of song.

“For me, singing is an emotional experience. When I’m singing, you can see my soul.”

Meanwhile, she’s got solid back-up for her tour. Joining Shaftoe is bassist/producer/songwriter Michael Lent, who also produced Unsteady and guitarist/singer/songwriter Ben Sure who has played with many great Canadian artists including Rita Chiarelli, The Wyrd Sisters, Tim Williams, Emma Cook and Michelle Rumball (Grievious Angels).

For Shaftoe, pressing forward and challenging herself creatively is key to producing a unique sound.

And it’s never too late to try new things and plunge oneself into fresh, exhilarating experiences. “I’m someone who believes that you don’t peak when you are 18,” she adds with a chuckle. “You have so many more years of life.

“I also think people can relate to me,” she adds of her continual passion to tap into the richness of making music. “The know I’m invested in what I’m doing.”

For ticket information, call The Matchbox at 403-341-6500 or visit

Just Posted

Crews respond to diesel spill in Penhold

Individuals transferred diesel from one truck to the other

Local filmmaker works on documentary featuring women farmers

Red Deer woman receives $50,000 grant from STORYHIVE to produce documentary

Red Deer Rebels lose to Edmonton Oil Kings 4-1 at home opener

General Manager and Coach Brent Sutter said team ‘played hard’

Thurber Raiders snatch season opener from the Lacombe Rams

Red Deer game saw 44-8 win for the Raiders

Snowfall warning in effect for Red Deer

Around 10 to 15 centimetres expected

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Most Read