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Brad Shepik

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  • Born: Walla Walla, WA
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Brad Shepik is one of a number of great players (such as Jim Black, Chris Speed, and Briggan Krauss) to move to N.Y.C. from Seattle in the early '90s to make their mark on the downtown scene. His versatility on the guitar has led to performing and/or recording with artists like Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, and Paul Motian, but his particular talent in interpreting the modal musics of Eastern Europe and the Balkans has led to his position as the linchpin of several bands performing ethnic-hybrid jazz.

Pachora, with Black, Speed, and bassist Skuli Sverrisson, combines jazz with music from the Mediterranean Basin. Trumpeter Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio (also featuring Jim Black) applies a slightly more avant-garde approach to the music of Eastern Europe, and the Paradox Trio (Matt Darriau, reeds; Rufus Cappadocia, five-string cello; and Seido Salifoski, dumbek) uses Eastern Europe and the Balkans as their blueprint. As leader of the Commuters (with Peter Epstein, Sverrisson, Salifoski, and Mike Sarin), the focus shifts to combining Turkish and African music with Balkan-flavored jazz. Each of these bands was formed in the mid-'90s and remains an on-again-off-again working project. Shepik is so skilled at this type of music that he has even worked with Yuri Yunakov, a former member of Ivo Papasov's band, performing the frenetic wedding music of Bulgaria.

Shifting his ethnic inclinations to the background, Shepik also co-led BABKAS with alto player Briggan Krauss and drummer Aaron Alexander. This is a jazz trio more focused on group interplay and improvisation. More recent projects include the Brad Shepik Trio, with Chris Dahlgren on bass and Tom Rainey on drums; and Tridurga, an acoustic trio featuring Tony Scherr on bass balalaika and Yuri Lemeshev on accordion. Shepik has also worked with Owen Howard, Andy Laster, Franz Koglmann, and the Ken Schaphorst Big Band, in addition to being a member of Joey Baron's Killer Joey. As a leader, Shepik has recorded several discs under his own name since the late '90s, including two on Knitting Factory, Short Trip and Drip, as well as three for Songlines, Loan, Well, and Places You Go.

eMusic Features

1

New This Week: School of Seven Bells, Trust & More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

Man. There are just so many new records today. Also, I think about halfway through this, I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Trust, TRST: Behind the year's worst album cover is one of the year's best records. Super goth, in all the right ways. Where my Apoptygma Berzerk fans at? Home crying? Cool. See you there. This one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Barry Walters goes: Trust is danceable even if you're not stuck in a K-hole. Its tempos vary… more »

1

House Party Starting: Playing Herbie Nichols

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Ask a jazz fan about Herbie Nichols, and the reaction is likely to be either, "He's a genius," or "Who?" The pianist and composer is the paradigm of a genius neglected in his own time. Nichols's classic mid-'50s sides for Blue Note were all but forgotten when he passed at 44 in 1963. A.B. Spellman memorialized him with a chapter in 1966's Four Lives in the Be-Bop Business, but he didn't get much respect till… more »

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Balkan Bacchanal

By Richard Gehr, Contributor

One line of thirsty listeners made its way toward kegs of dark beer. Another longer line followed the contours of Upper Manhattan's Good Shepherd School gymnasium toward several tables bearing cheese, sausages, hummus, grape leaves and other meze snacks. And a third, even longer, line of folk dancers snaked through the crowded gym, stepping and kicking hand-in-hand to the fulsome sounds of the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, hosts of the 24th annual night-long Golden… more »