Guitarist, composer, educator Brad Shepik has recorded 9 albums with his groups Brad Shepik Organ Trio, Brad Shepik Quartet, Brad Shepik Trio, Human Activity Quintet, Brad Shepik and the Commuters. Since 1995 his ensembles have performed at major festivals and clubs across Europe and North America including The North Sea Jazz Festival, Garda Jazz Festival, Cologne Biennale Jazz Festival, Toulouse Jazz Festival, Bell Atlantic Festival, Verizon, Earshot, Caramoor Jazz Festival, Langnau Jazz Festival, Groningen, Salzburg, Jerez, Cadiz, Sevilla, American Guitar Festival, Leeds, Rochester Jazz Festival, Cork, Brussels, Edgefest and others.
He currently performs solo concerts and with Brad Shepik Organ Trio, The Brad Shepik Quartet, Rambler, Combo Nuvo, Tom Beckham/Brad Shepik Duo, Balkan Peppers, Jamie Baum Septet, Matt Darriau's Paradox Trio, George Schuller's Circle Wide, Arthur Kell and others.
He teaches Theory, Improvisation, World Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Chicago Blues, Balkan Music and private guitar at New York University and private guitar at New England Conservatory and City College of New York.
As a sideman Brad appears on more than 70 recordings and has performed and recorded with Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Dave Douglas' Tiny Belll Trio, Combo Nuvo, Yuri Yunakov's Bulgarian Wedding Band, Pachora, Paradox Trio, Jay Clayton and others. He has also performed with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Carla Bley's Escalator Over the Hill, Bob Brookmeyer, Simon Shaheen, and was a a member of Joey Baron's Killer Joey from 2000-2009.
Born in Walla Walla, Washington and raised in Seattle, 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, Dave Petersen, Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie. He earned a B.F.A from Cornish College of the Arts and a Masters in Jazz Performance/Composition from New York University.
Shepik moved to New York in 1990, subsequently joining several bands including Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio, Matt Darriau's Paradox Trio, Pachora w/Chris Speed, Jim Black and Skuli Sverrisson, and BABKAS. He has also performed with Carla Bley's Escalator Over the Hill and Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra in the US and Europe. Shepik toured Europe and recorded two albums with Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band over 5 years. Concurrently, the guitarist deepened his interest in world music, performing and recording with Yuri Yunakov's Bulgarian Wedding Band and Simon Shaheen’s Quantara. Shepik’s first two records as a leader, The Loan and The Well, explored music of the Balkans and featured Shepik on Turkish saz and Bulgarian tambura as well as electric and acoustic guitars. “The Loan" and “The Well" received critical praise 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 alto saxophonist Peter Epstein and percussionist Matt Kilmer. In 2000 Shepik began re-examining the guitar trio format with drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Scott Colley. They recorded two cd’s,"Drip" and "Short Trip", both of which were critically acclaimed and featured on NPR. He also began touring with Joey Baron's two guitar group "Killer Joey" which performed extensively in Europe and the US for 9 years.
His next group was an organ trio featuring Gary Versace and Tom Rainey. The trio performed at festivals across Europe and North America. Their CD “Places You Go" received a 4 star review in Downbeat and appeared on several “Best CD’s of 2007" lists.
From 2004-9 Shepik continued to tour with drummer Joey Baron’s Killer Joey, udist/violinist Simon Shaheen, George Schuller's Circle Wide, Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio, Pachora, Alexis Cuadrado Puzzles Quartet, Arthur Kell Quartet, Combo Nuvo, Bob Brookmeyer’s Quartet East and others.
In 2007 Shepik received a New Works Commission from Chamber Music America to write a suite of music on the subject of climate change for jazz quintet. The resulting CD "Human Activity Suite" was a 10 movement- work on the subject of climate change. The CD was released in February 2009 on Songlines Recordings. It features Shepik on electric and acoustic guitars, electric sax and Bulgarian tamboura. Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Gary Versace (piano, organ, accordion), Drew Gress (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums).
In February 2011 Brad Shepik Quartet with Tom Beckham (vibes), Jorge Roeder (bass) and Mark Guiliana (drums) released it's acclaimed recording "Across the Way" on Songlines records. All About Jazz noted that the recording "..pushes Shepik into the fast lane of musicians communicating something both universally vital and intensely personal."
In 2013 Shepik began performing solo concerts in the US and Europe. The UK's Jazzwise Magazine called his solo performances "exemplary in their fluidity and lyricism. He delights in showcasing his guitar mastery before an audience". A solo recording is planned for 2016.
In 2014 he traveled to Mongolia with Combo Nuvo where he participated in a residency with the Morinn Khurr Ensemble, performing in the historic State Opera and Ballet Theater of Ulan Bataar which was documented in the video "Combo Nuvo in Mongolia".
In 2015 his composition “Aquarians’" was recorded by the prog rock/jam band “Consider the Source" on their album “World War Trio Pt. ll &lll.
2015 saw the release of "Flower Starter", the debut recording by the Tom Beckham/Brad Shepik Duo which highlights the rich sonorities inherent in the pairing of vibraphone and electric guitar.
In March 2016 the Brad Shepik Organ Trio with Gary Versace (organ) and Mark Ferber (drums) will release their debut recording "Top Down" on JLC Records.
Shepik also leads Rambler- a quartet with Chris Cheek (saxophones), Ben Monder Fender Bass VI and Diego Voglino (drums).
Shepik's newest project is the Balkan Peppers, a group that he co-leads with Macedonian drummer Seido Salifoski, a longtime collaborator in the Paradox Trio and The Commuters.
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, Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie. Currently teaching at The School for Improvisational Music, New York University, New England Conservatory, City College of New York, also previously taught at The New School and Long Island University.