Before the Washerman’s Dog takes off from South Africa for further exciting horizons I’d like to give a tip of the hat from the depature lounge to my old friend Phillip Walker. Not a South African but married to one and a great lover of South African music, especially of the jazz variety, Phillip has turned the Dog on to many wonderful discs, including tonight’s post. Thank you Phillip, because this collection of music is utterly sublime.
“As a composer and arranger Shepherd is proving to be one of the chief architects of modern Cape jazz.” Andre Manuel, The Cape Times
Kyle Shepherd, born in Cape Town, South Africa on 8 July 1987, is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s most influential and accomplished jazz pianists and composers.
Shepherd has released two critically acclaimed Albums to date with both his Albums ‘fineART’  and ‘A Portrait of Home’  earning him SAMA (South African Music Award) nominations; ‘fineART’ for ‘Best Traditional Jazz Album’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ [SAMA 2010] and ‘A Portrait of Home’ for ‘Best Traditional Jazz Album’ [SAMA 2011].
In his review of ‘A Portrait of Home’, international music critic, Marcus O’Dair | The Arts Desk UK, commends the work of the Trio. “A Portrait of Home sees Shepherd, together with Shane Cooper on double bass and drummer Jonno Sweetman, creating music of subtle yet tremendous power. Though the technique of all three is undeniable, this is no antiseptic chops fest: it is music of genuine passion, meditative and stately but always emotionally engaged. It has groove at its very core, with hummable, stripped back melodies on top – and not just in the “head” sections that traditionally top and tail jazz arrangements.”
Shepherd regularly performs in concert as a solo pianist, while also leading his trio with Shane Cooper (double bass) and Jonno Sweetman (drums) and his Quartet featuring top South African tenor saxophonist Buddy Wells.
Apart from performances in South Africa, Shepherd has also toured to The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, France, Denmark, Malaysia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe, with the most notable concert appearances being at The Bird’s Eye Jazz Club (Switzerland), The Aarhus Jazz Festival (Denmark), The Riverboat Jazz Festival (Denmark), The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (South Africa), The Joy of Jazz Festival (South Africa), The Pan African Space Station (South Africa) and The Genting International Jazz Festival (Malaysia).
During the course of his career, Shepherd has performed as pianist and/or saxophonist, with some of South Africa’s greatest musicians including Zim Ngqawana, Louis Moholo-Moholo, McCoy Mrubata, Hilton Schilder, Errol Dyers, Mark Fransman and the late Robbie Jansen, amongst others.
Shepherd featured in the AWARD WINNING theatre production, ‘AFRIKAAPS’ for which he directed & co-wrote the music and also performed in.
Shepherd continues to use his ability as a pianist, saxophonist, Xaru player (traditional mouth bow), vocalist and poet towards forging a unique compositional and performance concept that pays homage to all his musical influences and the many great musicians he has worked with, all while continuing to look forward musically. “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 while at the same time actively participating in the global, universal sound,” says Shepherd.
01 A Hymn For Us (Part 2)
02 Bibliography Of Bondage
03 Biological Warfare
04 Sweet Zim Suite
05 Coline's Rose (For Coline And Robbie)
07 Os'se Mense (Our People)
09 Dark Cities
10 Die Goema