Brad Shepik Joins NEC Faculty


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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 allaboutjazz.com 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.

For more information, call the NEC Concert Line at (617) 585-1122 or visit NEC on the web at www.newenglandconservatory.edu/faculty

Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 750 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes — thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 100-year old, beautifully restored concert hall. These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of “From the Top,” a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by more than two hundred stations throughout the United States.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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