Naima Shalhoub is a Lebanese American artist who uses music as a tool for transformation, liberation, education and healing. Her dimensional work as a vocalist, composer, performing artist, and educator explores the borderlands of belonging, remembrance, freedom and the expansive quality of the voice--its power for redemption and social justice.
After receiving her MA in Postcolonial and Cultural Anthropology in 2008, she turned her focus to creation and performance in the Bay Area. She immediately found herself equally at home with her band on the stages of San Francisco music venues and in the spotlight as a presenting speaker at TEDXLAU in Beirut. Her music brings vibrant personality, poetic eloquence and impassioned performances to both nationally acclaimed venues and community event spaces. She also appears in theater productions, joins fundraisers, and speaks at conferences across the United States.
In May of 2014, Naima combined her passion for music, social justice, and education by facilitating weekly “Music and Freedom” sessions with incarcerated women at the San Francisco County Jail. The program was such a success that, a year later, she recorded her debut album, Live in San Francisco County Jail, in front of an audience of these same women, many of whom participated in the performance. The result is a recording that embodies Naima’s deeply held belief that music and song are vessels for freedom and healing, holding the potential to energize movements working toward more just and loving futures.
In addition to performing regularly, Naima is the Restorative Women and Girls Programs Coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth where she draws upon her prior experience as an RJ Coordinator for the Oakland Unified School District and experience as a public school music educator.
Naima toured Beirut, Lebanon with a project titled NAMENA, which in Arabic means "to grow, to nurture, communally." This project built partnerships with local organizations to co-produce events that provided a platform to discuss and share creative responses to various forms of struggle -- a music-tour model she looks forward to replicating in various locations. Naima is currently composing and recording new music for her first full-length studio album titled siphr -- produced by Tarik "Excentrik" Kazaleh -- which will be released toward the end of 2019.