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Teachers at the Old Town School

Zahra Baker

Zahra has worked as a drama and vocal music Teaching Artist in several Chicago Public Schools for the past 25 years. She began her teaching career working as an early childhood music instructor in the Wiggleworms’ program at Old Town School of Folk Music in 1987 where she also developed and implemented a Chicago Public School music residency highlighting African American Acapella vocal traditions. She has specialized in arts integration and finds sharing music to be invigorating and inspiring. Other residencies include Chicago Lights, Ravinia Music Festival, The Chicago Park District, Albany Park Theater Project, About Face Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Highwire City Learning Centre in London, England and eta Creative Arts Foundation. She is excited to return to the Wiggleworms program!

Zahra is also an accomplished performer recognized for her work as a folk and jazz vocalist, dramatic actor and an engaging storyteller. Her performance history includes “In the Spirit,” (Storytelling duo of African American stories and songs); Freedom Song Leaders (Co-founder), David Boykin’s Outet (Jazz Vocal Improvisation), Othello at Shakespeare Repertory Theater (Vocalist/Actor), Classic Black (Jazz and Storytelling Ensemble), Sitarsys (Creative Music featuring Shanta Nurullah on sitar). She has performed at venues such as The Old Town School of Folk Music Field Trip Series, The Chicago Jazz Festival, The National Association of Black Storytellers Conference and Festival, The Guild Complex, The Chicago Cultural Center, Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival, Rhode Island Black Storytelling Festival, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and countless Schools, Museums and Festivals.

Started at the Old Town School in May of 2015