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The String Queens Discuss Their Breakout Career, and a New Holiday EP, on The Pulse


For The String Queens, it was love at first “bow.”

This Washington, D.C.-based trio — violinist Kendall Isadore, violist Dawn Johnson and cellist Élise Sharp — are educators by day and concert performers by night. They formed for a wedding gig, and four years later they can claim the distinction of having performed with Leslie Odom, Jr., Common, Solange, Ariana Grande and the late Aretha Franklin, to name a few.

On this special holiday edition of The Pulse, The String Queens discuss their work as music educators, their musical journey as a string trio and women of color, and the release of their new holiday EP, Our Favorite Things

It follows their self-titled 2019 debut, which showcased their expansive range — encompassing the Baroque era, jazz, R&B, and whatever is currently on the Billboard top 100. This year they were even honored by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with the prestigious Aspire Award.

Inspired by women string players like Regina Carter and Karen Briggs, as well as groups like Vitamin String Quartet, they are undoubtedly infusing their own flavor into the world of strings. Whether they're teaching children Mozart or the latest Cardi B hit, TSQ are blasting cultural barriers and making the music relatable and accessible to a new generation.