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Elizabeth Shepherd

Elizabeth Shepherd pushes the boundaries of what is considered conventional jazz, all the while creating a sound completely her own. From London to Tokyo, Elizabeth has captivated audiences and critics on both sides of the pond. Her Juno nominated debut album, Start To Move continues to receive critical acclaim, and was voted the Top 3 Jazz Albums of the Year by the listeners of the Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio 1 in 2006.

Raised by ministers of the Salvation Army, an early exposure to the brass band sounds mixed with her love for classical and house music, disco and hip hop, lay the foundations for one soulful musician. Trained extensively in conservatories from across Canada to France, Elizabeth completed a degree in jazz piano from McGill University, Montreal. Initially entering the music program to pursue a career in music therapy she quickly discovered her extensive talent in songwriting and performing. She returned to Toronto in 2004 and worked as a server at a piano bar. Her serving job proved an asset to her musical career- once management realized Elizabeth’s talent, she quickly became the restaurant’s key entertainer. Organically and innocently enough, the Elizabeth Shepherd Trio was formed with Scott Kemp on bass, Colin Kingsmore on drums and Elizabeth Shepherd on piano and vocals.

The Elizabeth Shepherd Trio became a staple group in Toronto’s soul jazz scene, performing all over town in jazz and other concert venues alike. Upon joining forces with Do Right! label owner John Kong, the Trio was invited into the studio to record a demo. But what was supposed to be a demo turned into a jam session resulting in the album Start To Move. The following few years established the EST locally and saw them gain recognition internationally, performing on BBC Radio 1, sold out shows at London’s Jazz Cafe, and a week long residency at the prestigious Cotton Club in Tokyo, Japan the summer of 2007.

Her follow-up full-length album Parkdale is an older, wiser Shepherd teamed with her ever youthful, graceful soul. The mood of Parkdale tracks the emotional whirlwind of human experience. The album explores what everyone fears the most: total openness, divulging your innermost humanity. “Parkdale,” the title track, explores the nuances of brokeness within the community. The album leads the listener through it all with stories of personal growth alongside the evolution of a neighbourhood in transition. “I’ve always found strange the massive discrepancy between the highly emotional events that shape our personal lives, that we generally don’t share, and the completely mundane events that insidiously make their way into conversation.

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Album Review

Jacek Kochan & musiConspiracy: Occupational Hazard

Read "Occupational Hazard" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Polish-born and current Canadian Jacek Kochan's 22nd release as a leader, Occupational Hazard, exists at the crossroads of straight ahead and electric jazz. A drummer, composer and arranger, Kochan has played with a variety of musicians over the course of his long career. On Occupational Hazard he leverages this broad experience to bring together an unusual mix of instrumental and vocal talent, establishing an intriguing blend likely to appeal most to fans of accessible tunes dominated by guitar ...

Album Review

Elizabeth Shepherd's Trio: Start to Move

Read "Start to Move" reviewed by Rokas Kucinskas

It's hard to categorize Elizabeth Shepherd's music--much like a windmill with its stable parts, less and less visible in a motion. Yet a sense of direction isn't absent, and Shepherd offers a wide spectrum of textures ranging from musical complexity to lyrical musicality. The singer-songwriter's debut release Start to Move is full of hidden treasures for every jazz lover. Music on the album is filled with streams of ideas: soulful pieces filled with heavy syncopations, modal variations ...

Album Review

Elizabeth Shepherd: Signal

Read "Signal" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Montreal-based singer Elizabeth Shepherd gently stirs jazz with an underground pop aesthetic in Signal. Similar to the fresh styles of contemporaries such as Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato, Shepherd's appeal is heard in her multifaceted gifts as a songwriter, musician, and composer; attributes which garnered her a Juno Award nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album for her 2012 release Rewind (Linus Entertainment). Signal takes a soulful groove-centric stance with tight rhythmic hooks and beats that would fit ...

Catching Up With

Elizabeth Shepherd: A Jewel is Born

Read "Elizabeth Shepherd: A Jewel is Born" reviewed by Anthony King

When a fetus becomes the impetus. “Impetus" is a favored word lobbed by Elizabeth Shepherd into the conversation these days as she takes a deep breath and plunges into the great unknown of traveling on the road with a family. The winsome vocalist and jazz pianist had her first child six months ago and has unplugged her tribe from their downtown Toronto home to cover Canada, literally performing dates from Nanaimo, B.C. to St. Johns, Nfld. “Gosh, that's the hope; ...

Album Review

Elizabeth Shepherd: Heavy Falls the Night

Read "Heavy Falls the Night" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

There is something so totally alluring about Elizabeth Shepherd's album Heavy Falls the Night that it bears very close listening. Every word and each note resonates with a certain swagger and at times, a soulful intensity that makes it impossible to give it a casual listen. Whether it is the manner in which Shepherd holds onto a spry note just out of her vocal range as if her life depended on it, or the unusual harmonies she overlays onto her ...

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Performance / Tour

Elizabeth Shepherd Trio to perform in Quebec City

Elizabeth Shepherd Trio to perform in Quebec City

Source: All About Jazz

Start to Move with Elizabeth Shepherd Trio

Quebec Nu-Jazz Productions and CHYZ 94.3 presents Elizabeth Shepherd Trio in concert on October 22nd 2006 at Gallerie Rouje in Quebec Cuty, 8 PM. Be ready to move to the sound of her first album, live in Quebec for the first time.

Elizabeth Shepherd will be accompanied by bassist Scott Kemp and drummer Colin Kingsmore during her time in Quebec. The sweet sound of her voice, her instrumental play (she plays piano as ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Occupational Hazard

Self Produced



Linus Entertainment


Heavy Falls The Night

Do It Right Music



Queering The Black Circle


Besides - Sampler Two

Queering The Black Circle


Besides - Sampler One

Queering The Black Circle


Evident Monk

From: Occupational Hazard
By Elizabeth Shepherd



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