Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti: Artists as Activists: An evening of music with a social conscience. Friday, February 17. Doors: 7:30. Show: 8:00. Cost: $20. With a combined total of 14 JUNO nominations between them, Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti have been combining their unique voices, as they tour together over the past 4 years. Whether drawing on jazz, soul, folk, pop or world music, their sound is soulful and fresh.
For this show, in light of recent events, they’ll be framing the evening with the theme of “Artists as Activists: Socially Conscious Musicians”. From the music of Bruce Cockburn to Stevie Wonder, and of course some of their own original material along the way, they cover songs of protest of all styles, infusing each one with their own signature sound. Never has there been a better time to get inspired by the power of music to effect change.
Both exciting singer/songwriter pianist, and souljazz innovator Elizabeth Shepherd, and Michael Occhipinti, multitalented guitarist/ composer/ arranger have been toasted world-wide for their talent and versatility. For more about these two startlingly original musicians, see the “Read More” section below. www.elizabethshepherd.com www.michaelocchipintimusic.com Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klhLIuALpCc
Velvety-voiced pianist Elizabeth Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album ‘Start To Move’ was voted one of the Top 3 jazz albums of the year by the listeners of the influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio Worldwide. Since then, the globetrotting souljazz innovator has released five widely acclaimed records, picked up 4 JUNO nominations, and toured extensively in North America, Europe, Japan and Latin America. Her latest record, The Signal, has been hailed as a “masterpiece” and appeared on numerous Best-of-the-Year lists across the world.
Elizabeth has been hailed as “a jazz virtuoso blessed with a pop sensibility”, praised by critics worldwide for her arrestingly original writing and soulful delivery. Along with artists like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and Jose James she is seen as part of a wave of jazz musicians bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans. Elizabeth is also the only jazz vocalist to ever have been nominated twice for the Polaris Prize – Canada’s most prestigious music prize.
Michael Occhipinti is a versatile, sound-scultping guitarist and composer/arranger, who has spent decades freely moving between jazz, chamber music, world music, r&b/funk, and anything involving modern guitar sounds. A nine-time JUNO Award nominee, Michael leads several acclaimed groups including The Sicilian Project, Shine On: The Universe of John Lennon, The Triodes, and the 16-piece group NOJO (Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra). Michael’s creative guitar playing has made him the ideal compliment to a diverse range of groups, including modern jazz singer Elizabeth Shepherd, Indian fusion group Avataar, classical ensemble Group of 27, Psychedelic Turkish group Minor Empire, pop and soul singer Lester McLean, improvising electronic group Junik, and chamber group The Gryphon Trio.
Michael’s own projects explore everything from Sicilian culture to songwriters such as John Lennon and Bruce Cockburn, to instrumental New Orleans funk, adventurous original music and big band arrangements of Pink Floyd. Occhipinti’s guitar playing draws on a huge tonal palette and a dynamic range that has him creating sounds critics have called both “miraculous” and “searing.”