Brad Shepik Joins the New England Conservatory Faculty

Jazz guitarist and composer Brad Shepik will join the New England Conservatory jazz guitar faculty at the beginning of the 2005-06 school year. The eclectic musical creator has been described by as having the “mind of a pioneer. The rhythmic complexity of his compositions has few parallels in jazz—or any other genre, for that matter. With all his exotic influences, and all his different axes, he makes us rethink what it means to be a guitarist and a musician. There’s no telling where he’ll go next.”

Born in Walla Walla, Washington and raised in Seattle, the 39-year old Shepik began playing guitar at age 10, when he picked up his father’s instrument. He continued to play both guitar and saxophone in school bands and then spent several years studying at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. His teachers there included Jerry Granelli, Julian Priester, Dave Petersen, Dave Peck, James Knapp and Ralph Towner. In 2005, he completed his master’s degree in jazz performance and composition at New York University.

Since arriving in New York in 1990, Shepik has been involved in the creation of numerous ensembles including some with which he still performs—Tiny Bell Trio, Paradox Trio, Pachora, and BABKAS. The guitarist extended his knowledge of world music idioms by performing in such groups as Yuri Yunakov’s Bulgarian Wedding Band. His first two records as a leader, The Loan and The Well were praised for their marriage of world music styles and jazz.

Shepik also co-leads the acoustic trio Triduga with accordionist Yuri Lemeshev and Tony Scherr on bass balalaika. Shepik has recorded two trio CDs, Drip and Short Trip, featuring drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Scott Colley. Both of these records were critically acclaimed and featured on NPR.

Shepik’s current working band is a trio with Gary Versace (organ) and Rainey, which will perform at the 2005 Northsea Jazz Festival and others this summer before recording a new album. Brad also continues to tour with udist/violinist Simon Shaheen. He is also a member of Bob Brookmeyer’s recently formed Quartet East. Shepik was featured on NEC Jazz Chair Ken Schaphorst’s 1999 Big Band recording, Purple.

The guitarist appears on two brand new releases: Gambit (Enja) with the Paradox Trio and Lingua Franca (Songlines), with a group that Shepik co-leads with saxophonist Peter Epstein.

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