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 jazz albums of the year by the 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. Versed in equal parts Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas, it is perhaps no surprise that this globetrotting talent has developed such a distinct and unique voice.
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.
The four-time JUNO nominee (Canada’s Grammy equivalent) has released four widely acclaimed records and toured extensively in North America, Europe, Japan and Mexico. She has sold out legendary clubs from Tokyo to Detroit, played major festivals like Montreal and North Sea Jazz Festivals, shared the stage with Victor Wooten, Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride, and opened for Jamie Cullum at The Hollywood Bowl. Elizabeth is also the only jazz vocalist to ever have been long listed for the Polaris Prize – Canada’s most prestigious music prize – an honour she has received twice.
Her fifth album The Signal saw Shepherd team up with guitar genius and Herbie Hancock band member Lionel Loueke as she continued to create jazz for a new generation. Released worldwide through Linus Entertainment (eOne), The Signal received international acclaim, was nominated for a JUNO Award, and long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Prize.
Her sixth and most recent album, MONTREAL is a multimedia ode to her hometown. Released on Pinwheel Music (2019), the music is based on a series of interviews she carried out with strangers in the street, that are woven into 11 songs relaying a “people’s history” of the city. The songs are accompanied by a series of short films, by Montreal videographer Stéfan Verna, as well as a coffee table book, relaying the uncovered stories as well as the making of the films, which will be available in April, 2020. A bold, innovative and sprawling work, MONTREAL has been met with critical praise.