Whitney's mother & grandmother took a trip to Europe when she was only 3 and watched the Royal Shakespeare Company perform (Whitney's favorite film at the time) "The Wizard of Oz". After the production they asked Whitney what she thought, she replied: "Well I liked it, but I thought I was going to get to be onstage!"
Perplexed (as they had no idea where that idea came from), Whitney's family supported her childhood dream and found a theatre company that would take her as soon as they got back from their vacation.
She's been performing ever since!
Getting her start out in musical theatre, Whitney still enjoys working on various film, modeling, acting, and dance projects while also maintaining a busy schedule as a working musician. A San Diego native, Shay holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre- with a Performance emphasis from San Diego State University. Shay's love for jazz, blues, and swing music became ignited when she became active in the San Diego swing dance community; while she simultaneously began singing with bands.
Whitney finds inspiration in a large range of music from the blues and jazz of Bessie Smith & Billie Holiday in the '20s and '30s, to the R&B and Soul of Etta James & Sam Cooke in the 50s and 60s; and her musical performances reflect this variety. Whitney Shay is a hard working and versatile performer, and you can find her singing with anything from a jazz duo to quartet, her high energy five piece swingin' blues and R&B band ("Whitney Shay and the Shakedowns!"), a 13 piece Big Band ("The JazzKatz Project"), or working in various configurations with some of the most talented musicians in town!
Whitney Shay has been making quite an impact as the little girl with a big voice who knows how to truly engage a crowd. You can't help but smile and tap your feet when you see what joy she brings to the stage!