When she asked her parents for violin lessons at the age of five, Amanda was already well-tuned to the sounds of hip-hop blasting from her older sister’s stereo. No wonder then, years later, that she rejects the preference for Bach over Deltron3030, for Chicago’s thriving new music scene over Bach. Her focus is the combination of all three: Amanda thrives at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, of local and universal.
Chamber groups are a mainstay in Ms Bailey’s musical career. Lakeshore Rush, her current Pierrot-plus-percussion ensemble, formed shortly after the genre-bending Quartet Datura went on hiatus in 2014, but this arrangement has not hindered her exploration beyond the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Dal Niente. Amanda has fiddled with Pete Seeger, joined in the manic excesses of Mucca Pazza, and laid down tracks for Chicago’s rising hip-hop stars, including Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Never one to content herself with the comfort of another take, Amanda plays regularly with the brightest stars of the local scene like Sidewalk Chalk, Lili K, and Oshwa.
Her busy freelancing schedule is rounded out by a violin sectional in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and a position at the Chicago Waldorf School teaching Orchestra and Improvisation. On Saturdays she raps and plays violin covers of classic hip-hop tracks, strictly for the heads.
You can find her at @lilsharpraps.