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Kyle Shepherd

Kyle Shepherd

Kyle Shepherd


Shepherd, born in Cape Town, South Africa on 8 July 1987, is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s most accomplished young jazz pianists and composers. He started his musical journey at the age of five (5) on classical violin. However, at the age of fifteen (15) (which was also around the time his love for Jazz and improvised music was growing); Shepherd discovered that he had an innate, natural affinity for the piano which has since become his main instrument. This multi-instrumentalist also plays the saxophone and sings. Read more on Last.fm
Shepherd, born in Cape Town, South Africa on 8 July 1987, is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s most accomplished young jazz pianists and composers. He started his musical journey at the age of five (5) on classical violin. However, at the age of fifteen (15) (which was also around the time his love for Jazz and improvised music was growing); Shepherd discovered that he had an innate, natural affinity for the piano which has since become his main instrument. This multi-instrumentalist also plays the saxophone and sings. Shepherd has already performed at concerts and festivals in South Africa and abroad with some of South Africa’s greatest musicians, including the likes of Zim Ngqawana, Louis Moholo - Moholo, McCoy Mrubata, Hilton Schilder, Errol Dyers and Robbie Jansen.

Shepherd draws his musical influences from the traditional rhythms, melodies and harmonies of Cape Town, South Africa as well as Jazz music. Abdullah Ibrahim, Zim Ngqwana, Robbie Jansen, Keith Jarrett and Jason Moran all count amongst those who have inspired Shepherd musically, spiritually & creatively. “My music is a direct representation of my traditions and the lineage of artists that came before me, and I am merely a portrait of their mastery.” Shepherd launched his Debut Album entitled "fineART" in January 2009. “fineART”, an 11-track album featuring all of Shepherd’s original compositions with the exception of a Cape Traditional song, “Die maan skyn so helder”, has been highly acclaimed by respected Jazz critics and discerning listeners alike.

This has led to numerous concert performances across South Africa including the 2009 Cape Town International Jazz Festival with his fineART Quartet. As part of the 2008 Cape Town International Jazz Festival Programme, Shepherd’s Quartet performed two of his original compositions in a virtual ‘Jazz Conversation’ with jazz students from the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies in New York. This made a very favourable impression on acclaimed saxophonist Ron Blake who led the event on the Juilliard side, who commented that Shepherd’s eclectic compositions sounded “very fresh, very 21st-century.” Shepherd’s previous National & International Festival appearances include: • 2009 Cape Town International Jazz Festival (The Kyle Shepherd fineART Quartet) Cape Town, South Africa • 2009 On Edge of Wrong Festival, (Kyle Shepherd Solo Piano), Cape Town South Africa • 2008 Heritage Festival (with Louis Moholo – Moholo), Artscape, Cape Town, South Africa • 2008 Genting International Jazz Festival (with Cape Jazz All Stars), Malaysia • 2008 Festival Les Temps Chauds (with Cape Jazz All Stars), Bourg En Bresse, France • 2008 Macufe Cultural Festival (with McCoy Mrubata), Bloemfontein • 2008, Obs Festival (The Kyle Shepherd fineART Quartet) Cape Town, South Africa • 2007 Cape Town Jazzathon (with Errol Dyers Band & Robbie Jansen Band), Cape Town, South Africa • 2006 Cape Town Jazzathon (Kyle Shepherd’s Silent Messengers), Cape Town, South Africa Below are excerpts from some Album and Concert Reviews: In his Foreword to Shepherd’s Debut Album “fineART”, internationally acclaimed South African music legend, Zim Ngqawana had the following to say about Shepherd's music: “Authenticity is another word for originality and this is clearly evident in Kyle’s compositions, arrangements and improvisation. He has managed to find a balance between the intellect and intuition. Kyle is a meditator and a poet." _____________________________ “As a composer and arranger Shepherd is proving to be one of the chief architects of modern Cape jazz.” Andre Manuel, The Cape Times _____________________________ “Cape Town music has its own sound, and Shepherd doesn’t hide the fact that much of his music and piano playing is inspired by Abdullah Ibrahim.

He uses this inspiration as a jumping-off point to offer his own original slant. …… “I believe that on fineART, Shepherd carries the torch for this style of music.” Don Albert (Financial Mail) _____________________________ "(his compositions) unashamedly display his cultural music traditions, drawing on the unique rhythms, harmonies, and melodic devices of what Kyle calls “music from home”. Carol Martin (SAJE - South African Association for Jazz Education). _____________________________ "It’s this ‘Proudly South African’ tradition that audiences can expect to hear" ... "which sees the multi-instrumentalist navigate an impressionistic collage of South African jazz sounds, from slam poetic minimalist re-imaginings of Afrikaans volksliedjies and Muslim calls to prayer, to goema groove deconstructions, tributes to Abdullah Ibrahim, Ngqawana’s philosophy of “Zimology” and more that, as the doyen of South African jazz scribes Gwen Ansell pointed out in Business Day recently: “live in the jazz world but are never imprisoned by it”.

Miles Keylock (Mail & Guardian) _____________________________ “Shepherd’s jagged edges and questioning dissonances sound far more like Ibrahim at the start of his career than his magisterial solemnity. The young player’s plaintive little minor-key segues into fragments of musical fragments represent a sonic collage of his city, much as pianist Robert Glasper’s sounds (also heard this year in Cape Town) collage the jazz history and hip-hop present of New York. ” Gwen Ansell (Business Day / The Weekender) © 2009 fineART Musichttp://www.kyleshepherd.co.za Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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