Velvety-voiced keyboardist Elizabeth Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album Start To Move was voted one of the top jazz albums of the year by listeners of the influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio Worldwide. Since then, the Montreal-based soul-jazz innovator has established herself as one of the most alluring and imaginative artists on the scene today.
A classical pianist who came to jazz through her love of old-school hip-hop, Elizabeth has been hailed as “a jazz virtuoso blessed with a pop sensibility” (Real Detroit Weekly) and praised by critics worldwide for her arrestingly original writing and soulful delivery. Alongside Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper, she is among the new wave of jazz-influenced musicians bringing the art form to a younger generation of music fans. The six-time JUNO nominee (Canada’s GRAMMY Awards) and two-time Polaris-Prize nominee has released seven widely acclaimed records, featuring collaborations with such musicians as Lionel Loueke and UK producer Nostalgia 77.
She has toured extensively in North America, Europe, Japan and Mexico, selling out shows from the Cotton Club (Tokyo) to The Jazz Cafe (London, UK) to the Northseas and ELBJazz Festival. She has shared the stage with such great diverse acts as Christian MacBride, Victor Wooten, Spankie Wilson, the Quantic Soul Orchestra, the Five Corners Quintet, Bonobo, and was also personally invited to open for Jamie Cullum at a sold-out Hollywood Bowl show.
At heart, Elizabeth is an improviser, playing off of whatever is around her. During the pandemic, she suddenly found herself stuck at home with nobody to create with. Having to find another way to ride her creative wave, she improvised. Elizabeth took inspiration from sounds around her – typewriters, garbage cans, records skipping, birds, people talking – you name it. She then wove them into snippets from old recordings of jams with friends, turned stuff upside down, added layers and synth parts, and came up with the new full-length album, THREE THINGS.