Andy Sheppard

He was just 19 when he was first exposed to John Coltrane’s music. He immediately bought his own saxophone and has since become a leading tenor and soprano player in Britain. He was soon playing with the Bristol-based quartet Sphere three weeks later. They had a great reputation throughout the 1970s and gained a lot of popularity, including recording many albums, winning awards, and playing a large number of live shows across Britain and Europe. Sheppard was a respected saxophonist over these years. However, he didn’t move to London to be with the band Lumiere or Urban Sax. Sheppard returned to the UK in mid-80s and signed to Island’s Antilles. In 1987, he released his debut album. The record featured the star trumpeter Randy Brecker on several tracks. It was also produced by Steve Swallow, an American bassist. This began a long musical relationship that continues today. Andy won the Best Newcomer Award at the British Jazz Awards in 1988. The album also received the Best Album, Best Instrumentalist, and Best Instrumentalist awards in 1989. In 1990, the Big Band Award was presented. The first album’s music was built around his acoustic quartet. It also featured a unique use of percussion, exploration into Latin and African rhythms. Introductions In The Dark, the follow-up album, featured a complex mix of electric and acoustic sounds. It reached the top spot on the British pop charts just one week after its release. Andy was invited by BBCTV to present his selection of jazz archive footage in celebration of the 25th anniversary BBC2. Sheppard was also establishing a strong international reputation. His band toured Europe and Canada, and he was the first Western jazz group ever to perform in Outer Mongolia. He was a featured saxophone soloist in George Russell’s Living Time Orchestra and toured with Gil Evans during 1987. Andy is one of very few soloists who has played in the big bands for all three great post-war jazz composers, Evans, Russell, and Carla Bley. He continues to tour with them and to record. Sheppard created his Soft On The Inside Big Band in 1990. It was carefully crafted to include Han Bennink, Ernst Reisjeger and Gary Valente as well as many other luminaries from the London scene, including Orphy Robinson, Chris Biscoe, Chris Biscoe, and Claude Deppa. The band released an album and toured extensively throughout Europe and the UK. The Guardian, Q and The Daily Mail praised the album as one of their best releases. Sheppard’s increasing status as a composer was confirmed by the project. Sheppard was tired of his original acoustic band and decided to try something new. In Co-Motion was formed, which included Claude Deppa, the trumpeter, and Steve Lodder, on keyboards. Dave Adams, Sylvan Richardson, and drummer Dave Adams. The music featured a mix of funk, rock, and complex ensemble lines. Solos ranged from melodic ballads to free jazz. The autumn 1991 saw the release of In Co-Motion. In Co-Motion performed all over the globe, often playing for the British Council. They also played in Europe, the USA, Colombia, Ecuador and Nigeria. One memorable South African trip was made. Andy’s 1993 Blue Note recording, Rhythm Method, featured In Co-Motion. A larger band was almost unavoidably called Big Co-Motion. It added five horn players including the energetic Gary Valente. Big Co-Motion recorded Delivery Suite at Ronnie Scott’s in 1994. This was followed by a lengthy UK tour. Andy formed Inclassificable with Steve Lodder, and Nana Vasconcelos, a brilliant Brazilian percussionist. Jonathan Lunn choreographed Modern Living. They composed the music. Inclassificable performed at major festivals in Macedonia and Norway, Istanbul, Istanbul, and London. They also released a self-titled album, Label Bleu, in 1995. Sheppard’s writing skills have been in high demand over the years. He has been invited by the UMO Orchestra in Finland to compose music for big bands. This was in conjunction with the Voice of the North in the UK. In 1998, he also composed a chamber work for Joanna MacGregor. It was premiered at the Salisbury Festival by Bournemouth Sinfonietta. He has composed music for theatre (Bristol Theatre Royal’s production Arthur Miller’s original play, The Man Who had All the Luck); dance (including the above-mentioned Modern Living); and radio and television. Original music for the BBC Omnibus documentary on ice dancers Torvill u0026 Dean, the Oscar-nominated Channel 4 documentary Syrup, and HTV’s documentary about Joseph Emidy (18th century black violinist) are just a few of his TV credits. The BBC2 Arena documentary series is about Peter Sellers. Sheppard and his long-term partner Steve Lodder formed a quartet to record the music for these TV shows. The CD was later released by Verve. The group featured bassist Dudley Philips, as well as Mark Mondesir (powerhouse drummer), and they toured the world. They reformed occasionally, most recently to perform at Ronnie Scotts in February 2000. Sheppard is often described as a serial collaborator. He has collaborated with an amazing range of musical partners. He has performed with Carla Bley; George Russell; and Gil Evans. He also played with Nana Vasconcelos, an Indian violinist; and with percussionists in Brazil. He was invited to participate in a month-long residency in Copenhagen as part of Copenhagen’s City of Culture Year. This allowed him to play with many leading Danish musicians and to teach workshops and perform at school. In 1997, he also took part in an educational residency at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton. Further education involved a year-long residency at St. Laurence School in Bradford-on-Avon. He has also collaborated with John Harle, a classical saxophonist, often in the trio Twentieth Century Saxophones. Harle also featured him as a soloist in Terror and Magnificence’s recording and touring project, along with Elvis Costello and Sarah Leonard. Sheppard and Harle also collaborated on a film-music project together with Will Gregory. Andy can be found on a diverse range of recordings. He has recorded with Carla Bley, George Russell, and even appeared on a tribute album for the New York Dolls. Sheppard signed to Provocateur Records in 1998. He formed a new sextet with a unique sound that was based on his ability to create subtly melodic songs and his fascination with rhythms from Africa and South America. Two highly-rated CDs were recorded by the group, Learning To Wave and Dancing Man and Woman. They added Steve Swallow’s electric basse to their regular lineup of Steve Lodder and John Parricelli as well as Paul Clarvis and Kuljit Bhamra, percussionist and bassist, respectively. The arts program at Canary Wharf commissioned the music. It received a UK premiere in April 2000, with performances in London, Newcastle and Bristol. After that, a brief tour of Turkey was followed by performances in Turkey. Sheppard performed this music all through 2000, whether in a quintet or sextet format or with the acoustic trio that he formed with Laurence and Lodder. Another 2000 activity included an October residency at Bologna, one of those millennium Cities of Culture. An Autumn European tour with Carla Bley’s new eight-piece band. More live work with Maj-Britt and Jean-Marie Machado. The Maison de la Culture, Amiens, commissioned a solo performance using live saxophones and electronics. It was performed there in December 1999. Sheppard then connected with Claude Deppa, a trumpeter, and DJs Rita Ray, and Max Reinhardt for a brief tour commissioned under the Serious Sampler series. His most recent album, Nocturnal Tourist was released in March 2002, thanks to the work that he had done through these projects. The record was built around his growing interest and passion for new music technologies and club culture. It is a tour de force, inspired by Andy’s travels around the globe. It features ambient electronic soundscapes as well as fragments of spoken words and urban sounds. Andy’s distinctive saxophone sounds top it all. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge opened on 17 September 2001. He was also given a landmark commission by The Sage, Gateshead to record and write music. Sheppard worked with Kathryn Tickell (Northumbrian pipes) to create the project. The first performance was performed live on the bridge’s spectacular setting. Andy has been touring the Nocturnal Tourist live version as a duo with Mark Mondesir and Stephane San Juan; as well as as guest soloist with Jean-Marie Machado and Maj-Britt Kramer, on tours throughout Europe and Asia. He also recorded and toured with Rita Marcotulli, an Italian pianist. These projects will continue throughout 2003. He is also scheduled to tour with George Russell in honor of the 80th anniversary of the composer. After the overwhelming response to his September 2002 residency at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Sheppard will be focusing on a new recording with John Parricelli. Provocateur will release the record in March. Joanna Macgregor is working with him on a major project, Cityscapes. This will be for the 2003 City of London Festival.nu003cbr/u003enfrom

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