Born in Walla Walla, Washington and raised in Seattle, 40-year-old Brad 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 studied guitar with Al Galante. He earned a B.F.A from Cornish College of the Arts and a Masters in Jazz Performance/Composition from New York University.
Since arriving in New York in 1990, Shepik has been involved several ensembles including the Tiny Bell Trio, Paradox Trio, Pachora, and BABKAS. He has also performed with Carla Bley, Charlie Haden and toured and recorded with Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band for 5 years. Concurrently, the guitarist extended his knowledge of world music idioms by performing and recording in such groups as Yuri Yunakov's Bulgarian Wedding Band and Simon Shaheen's Quantara. Shepik's 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-led two world music tinged trios: Triduga with accordionist Yuri Lemeshev and Tony Scherr on bass balalaika, and Lingua Franca with Peter Epstein and Matt Kilmer. In 2000, Shepik began exploring the traditional guitar/bass/drums format with drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Scott Colley. They recorded two CDs, Drip and ShortTrip, both of which were critically acclaimed and featured on NPR.
Shepik's current working band is a trio with Gary Versace, organ and Rainey, drums. The band has performed at festivals across Europe and North America. Their latest release, Places You Go, received a 4 star review in Down Beat, and appeared on several "Best CDs of 2007" lists. Shepik also continues to tour with drummer Joey Baron's Killer Joey, udist/violinist Simon Shaheen, George Schuller, Matt Darriau's Paradox Trio, Alexis Cuadrado Puzzles Quartet, Arthur Kell Quartet, Combo Nuvo, Bob Brookmeyer's Quartet East and others. Shepik was featured on NEC Jazz Chair Ken Schaphorst's 1999 Big Band recording, Purple.
Currently Shepik is writing a 12 part suite for jazz quintet titled "Human Activity -Sounding a Response to Climate Change." The piece will be premiered June 2008 in New York.
B.F.A, Cornish College of the Arts. Masters in Jazz Performance/Composition, New York University; Studies with Gil Goldstein, George Garzone, Marc Consoli, Jerry Granelli, Julian Priester, Dave Petersen, Dave Peck, James Knapp and Ralph Towner. Former faculty of The New School, City College, Long Island College, New York University.
Photo by Andrew Hurlbut