Photo by John Leonardini

* Your musical inspirations?  

Vocalist: Billie Holiday, George Jones
Songwriter: Johnny Mercer, Bob Dylan, George Gershwin
Guitarist: Django, Chet Atkins, Eddie Van Halen
Pianist: Chick Corea, Ivo Pogorelich

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians? 

Billie Holiday Commodore series
Toscanini Rites of Spring
Kaki King
Patty Larkin

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Always, through every difficult time.

* Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing--

I think music is the beginning of healing.


Who are the great songwriters in America today?
Not the most popular. Not the richest. Simply the greats.
Ask any student of the form, and Janis Ian will be counted among them The writer of Jesse, a song recorded by so many others that few remember Ian wrote it; Stars, possibly the best song ever written about the life of a performer, recorded by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher; and the seminal At Seventeen, a song that brought her five Grammy nominations (the most any solo female artist had ever garnered) in 1975, which is now reaching its third generation of listeners.
 Ian is a formidable talent, a force of nature. Ella Fitzgerald called her “The best young singer in America”. Chet Atkins said “Singer? You ought to hear that girl play guitar; she gives me a run for my money!” Reviewers have called her live performances “overwhelming to the spirit and soul”, and “drenched with such passion, the audience feels they’ve been swept up in a hurricane.” Not to mention her short stories, her songs for film and television… and oh, yes. She also runs a foundation, named for her mother, that supplies college scholarships in perpetuity; they’re working on their ninth.
The glowing reviews come as no surprise to Ian’s loyal fan base, who give her website a stunning quarter million hits per year – even though she hasn’t had a top twenty record here in three decades. Nor to the computer community, who adopted her article “The Internet Debacle” as their Bible against the RIAA’s fight to stop downloaded music. Nor her international fan base, who flock to her concerts and allow her to spend ten months every two years doing sold-out tours of Holland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Germany, and others too numerous to mention – and these are not club tours, these are concert halls. Nor the science fiction community, who embraced her anthology “Stars” with glowing reviews like the one from Publisher’s Weekly that begins “This dazzling, highly original anthology….”
Quite a broad spectrum of interests and communities, for a woman who started her life on a New Jersey chicken farm.
2006 sees the release of Ian’s twentieth major-label album, and to this writer’s mind, her logical follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Between the Lines”. Titled “Folk Is the New Black”, the album takes no prisoners; from the wry self-deprecating humor of its title song (“Folk is the new black/cheaper than crack/and you don’t have to cook”) to the political (“While politicians lie and cheat to get to higher ground/we follow them like sheep, and salute them as we drown”), to what is possibly the best love-‘em-and-leave-‘em song written in decades (“All those promises that you made me from the start/were filled with emptiness from the desert of your heart”), “Folk Is the New Black” is a songwriter’s tour de force. Never mind that it took decades for her to come full circle; Ian is right back where she started, in the bosom of folk music at its best – older, wiser, her talent honed and sharpened until it cuts so fine, we barely feel the blade slicing through us.
 This is not an album for the faint of heart, for timid souls who prefer Britney Spears’ auto-tuned vocals to the voice of real experience. Ian and her two sidekicks (Viktor Kraus on upright bass and guitars, Jim Brock on percussion and drums) recorded the fifteen songs in three days, with all vocals done live. As Ian says, “I wanted to make real music. Forget about perfection; folk music isn’t about that. It’s about heart. So we set the room up as though it were the 60’s, three of us facing one another and playing because we love music. I sang everything live, and I surprised myself. I mean, I know I can sing live – I do it 200 nights a year. But to sing live in the studio, while I’m trying to play my own parts, arrange, and be the producer – I was surprised it came off so well. We had the budget to spend more time, but why? We’d already done what we set out to do.”
 Ian has had great success as a co-writer, with cuts by Bette Midler, Kathy Mattea, John Mellencamp and a host of others. But “Folk Is the New Black” is the first album since 1981’s “Restless Eyes” that sees Ian writing 100% of everything.
“It was important to me, writing it all by myself. It was a challenge – could I still do it? Would it be as good? Because to my mind, it all comes down to four words – I serve the song. If you don’t start with great songs, you have nothing.”
For the record, Ian was born April 7, 1951, and started playing the piano at two. Far from being a child prodigy on that instrument, she hated scales and studying, and switched to guitar at age ten. (“I figured out that while you couldn’t carry a piano, you could carry a guitar, and that was it.”) Her first song was written at twelve and recorded on her first album for Verve-Folkways in 1965, which also featured her first hit, Society’s Child. The song ignited controversy from coast to coast, resulting in the burning of a radio station, the firing of disc jockeys who played it, and a generation hungering for the truth finally having a female songwriter to stand beside Bob Dylan.
Ian took a break at the age of eighteen, retiring to Philadelphia for three years “to find out if I had it in me to be a good songwriter, or if I should just go to school and become a veterinarian.” She returned with the stunning “Stars” album in 1973, and went on to cover the decade with number one records worldwide. Her follow-up to “Between the Lines”, titled “Aftertones”, was #1 in Japan for an astonishing six months, a record still unbroken by a female artist. “Night Rains”, featuring the Giorgio Moroder collaboration “Fly Too High”, managed to go platinum throughout Europe, Africa, and Australia.
 In 1983, after ten unbroken years of making records and touring, Ian took an unprecedented nine year hiatus from the visible music world, studying acting with the legendary Stella Adler and “in general, learning how to be a person”. During that period, she married and divorced, suffered two emergency surgeries, lost all her savings and home to an unscrupulous business manager, and moved to Nashville, TN in 1988 “penniless, in debt, and hungry to write”. She returned to the music business with 1992’s “Breaking Silence”, which immediately garnered her ninth Grammy nomination.
2006 marks many milestones for Ian: it is the 40th anniversary of the release of Society’s Child. It is the 42nd anniversary of her first New York show (at The Village Gate, in 1964, at the age of 13). It is the 43rd anniversary of the publication of her first song, as well as the 43rd anniversary of her career as a songwriter (her first song, Hair of Spun Gold, published in Broadside Magazine in 1963, when Ian was twelve years old.) The 38th anniversary of her first Grammy nomination. Hard to believe she started so young; hard to believe she’s still going strong.

“It was good to start young,” says Ian. “It was good to learn, early on, that what matters is the music. I got most of my big mistakes over with before I was twenty-one. When people say ‘Didn’t you miss having a teenage life?’ I just say ‘I only know the life I lived. I was a teenager, working. A hundred years ago, no one would have thought anything of it. At least I got to do something I loved! I could have been working in a factory, or a day job where every day is the same thing, day in and day out. Instead, I got to deal with everything from doing coke with Jimi Hendrix to death threats. I lived an entire life in my teen years, and I don’t regret a second of it.”
 Despite being a recording artist and performer for four decades, Ian shows no signs of slowing down. Her 2006 tour will take her through the United States, Canada, and all over Europe and Japan, with plans to go back to Singapore and Australia at some point. “We’ve got to pack it in, because I’m taking all of 2007 off at home to write my autobiography.” And after that? Ian laughs. “I’m scheduled right up to the brim through spring of 2008 right now; after that is anyone’s guess!”


*musical inspirations:

Carole King, John Mayer, Mariah Carey

*fav cds:

 Jason Mraz "Tonight Not Again", John Mayer "Heavier Things",
 Carole King "Tapestry", Mariah Carey "Music Box" and
 James Taylor "One Man Dog".

*has music helped you thru a difficult time:

YES!! All breakups, and growing  up.

*music and healing:

"Music soothes the soul. It gives you something to
 relate to, and something to lean on. It can make
 you dance and smile or bring you to tears. Songs
 are checkpoints throughout ones life, bringing you
 back to a certain place and time. Music can bring
 people together, which is the most important thing.
 Sharing that connection between artist, band and
 listener is amazing, and something everyone should


“The girl with the incredible voice,” is the only way to describe singer/songwriter Debra Arlyn. A self-taught pianist, Arlyn is beginning to make waves in the Northwest music scene. In 2003 Debra won the Clear-Channel “Oregon Idol” Contest and was flown to LA to compete for the American Idol TV show. Since then, Debra has opened for Daniel Bedingfield, Blu Cantrel, Junior Senior, and shared bills with Portland, Oregon super-stars Geoff Byrd and Scott Fisher. She also sold out her own concert in her hometown at the Majestic Theatre.

Debra has tracked with Nashville’s finest studio musicians, had a writing session with Grammy award winning songwriter Tommy Sims, and recorded with Epic recording artist Justin King. In 2005 Homeslice Music released Debra’s cd “Thinking Out Loud”, which is receiving substantial regional radio airplay, and put Arlyn on tour with appearances at NARM in San Diego, NEMO in Boston and The Knitting Factory in LA. Debra was also featured in Billboard Magazine and reviewed in LA’s Music Connection Magazine.

Armed with a voice you cannot forget, Arlyn is striving to become a force to be reckoned with, and “With a bit of luck, this Oregon girl could successfully become a pop-diva.”


Your musical inspirations?

I was inspired to write music very early on. My Mother played guitar and
used to sing to my Brother and I as children and we would always sing along.
My Dad was a huge Beatles and Motown Fan, and I used to play all his records
everyday after school, over and over, wishing I could be like John Lennon. I
was also brought up listening to my Grandmother, on my Dads side, singing
her heart out to all the big musicals at the time. She and her Brother had
both been opera singers, so I was constantly surrounded with so many styles
over the years. I was very young when I wrote my first songs, they weren't
particularly ground breaking but I definatley knew thats what I wanted do
with my life. When I was 8 years old, I remember my Dad telling me that he
was working for a lady in her house and she needed to get rid of an old
piano, and he said if he brought one home, did I think that I would like to
learn how to play. I was so excitied, all I'd had at this point was a toy
keyboard. When it arrived I had to be forced to come away from it at
bedtime. That was the start of it all way back then. My true influences and
where I get my inspiration from now as I write, have to be mainly Jeff
Buckley and Kate Bush. I am greatly thankful to having had my sound
descrided as - Kate Bush havin had a head on collision with Jeff Buckley -
What a compliment. . . .

Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

I have so many favourites, but my top list has to be Jeff Buckley -
everything he's ever done, The Blue Nile - especially there song from the
Hats album - Lets go out tonight, Kate Bush - especially 'This Womans work'.
Dont know what it is about that song, but I cry every time. John Lennon -
especially 'Jealous Guy', fell in love with it first time I heard it. The
Beatles obviously. I also like a lot of whats happening now - James Blunt,
Feeder, Powderfinger, Turin Brakes, Sheryl Crowe. The list is endless but
you get the idea.

Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

My Mother died when I was 12 years old, and apart from having the most
amazing Family and friends to help me get throught it, Music was my biggest
outlet for escaping. I remember listening to a Barbara Streisand tape I
found lying around and just used to cry my eyes out to 'Evergreen' and 'The
Way we were'. I sat, it seemed forever, at the piano, around that time. It
really helped me feel not so alone with it all. I have found music to be a
real friend over the years. Its always something we anchor to places and
people and especially Lovers, thats possibly the only down side, if there is
one, when you hear that special song you had together, on the radio.

Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing--

Going back again to loosing my Mother, I strongly feel that without music at
that time, I would have felt very alone. Theres nothing better than when
your feeing a little down, or you've just had a long day, you can put a
favourite CD on and it can just wash away the blues.


I am originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK but moved down to London,
England, UK a few years ago. I am a self-taught musician, my main
instruments are my Voice and Piano. Even though my first band received much
critical acclaim from playing the clubs of Edinburgh, I decided in one night
to pack my bags and head for the allure of London. Literally 24 hours later,
with all my belongings in the back of a hired transit van, I was driving
south. After arriving in London, I have worked with a number of musicians
including Peter Green, the legendary Guitar and front man from Fleetwood
Mac. My music is still evolving but I feel that I'm getting close to a sound
I'm happy with. My musical tastes influence my own writing a lot and are
wide and varied. I was brought up listening to my Dads extensive Motown and
Beatles collection. My taste has then evolved into the likes of Kate Bush
and Annie Lennox and more recently artists such as Jeff Buckley and Aussie
Rockers Powderfinger. I was signed up until recently but chose to leave that
deal as I was unhappy with the progress they were making with me. I am
looking to get resigned and get my music heard by as many people as

My Website -

I also have an EP for sale at that website, called Troubled Soul.

The "Troubled Soul" EP is 4 songs from a large collection of tracks recorded over the last 2 years. The Songs were mainly recorded at JR's home studio in Buckinghamshire and engineered/produced by Nick Robinson. Outside help came from much regarded musicians/engineers such as Paul Stacey (Oasis, Madonna, Tori Amos) Dave Ruffy (The Stranglers, Kirsty MacColl) Alex Toff (Ed Harcourt, Brian Eno) and Julian Emery (Annie Lennox, Alex Parks). JR was also was fortunate enough to have the EP mastered at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London. The mastering engineer was Adam Nunn. Adam has mastered for Artists such as Radiohead, Richard Ashcroft, Cerys Matthews and Supergrass.


RJ Capac

*Your musical inspirations?

 My musical inspirations come from my enjoyment of my various guests
on my radio show "Piano Jazz" (such as Steely Dan, Tony Bennett, Elvis
Costello, Diana Krall, etc.).

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

I've always loved the music of jazz pianist Bill Evans, a dear

*Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music is a force for good. It has always helped me through good and
bad times.

*Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing-

 Music definitely has a healing quality. I used to be involved in
music therapy which is a helpful and much needed form of guidance.


Marian McPartland

When considering the long and storied career of Marian McPartland it soon becomes apparent that the remarkable breadth and manner of her accomplishments are, in all likelihood, unmatched in the history of jazz. A pianist and composer gifted with a vast, encyclopedic memory and an intuitive sense of harmony, McPartland has been performing professionally for more than 65-years, delighting audiences with her engaging artistry in clubs and concert halls around the globe and on scores of recordings. To millions of radio listeners, she is also the lively host of "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," the popular Peabody Award-winning National Public Radio program which is celebrating over 25th years on the airwaves. Additionally, McPartland has mentored countless musicians, spearheaded efforts in jazz education and served as one of the best ambassadors of jazz the world has known.

The fact that an individual born in a small English village near Windsor Castle should become one of the leading proponents of America's Great Musical Idiom is, actually, not as ironic as it may seem to be. After all, by the time Duke Ellington toured Great Britain and several other European nations with his orchestra in 1933 le jazz hot was already exciting the Old World masses, with Margaret Marian Turner, then 15, among the music's fans. A musical prodigy from the time she could sit at the piano, she studied classical music, mastered the violin as well, and simply worshipped jazz, taking Duke, Teddy Wilson and others to heart while looking to Mary Lou Williams, Lil Hardin and Hazel Scott as trailblazers she'd likely follow. In 1938 McPartland was enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music in London when Billy Mayerl, a well-known music hall entertainer, asked her to join The Claviers, his four-piano stage act, and despite a thousand pound counter-offer from her father to stay in school, the young pianist assumed the stage name of "Marian Page" and hit the vaudeville circuit with Mayerl. Subsequent work in a piano duo with Roma Clarke undoubtedly enhanced McPartland's skill in sympathetic accompaniment-and, one could say-paved the way for the duets featured on her "Piano Jazz" radio program.

A pivotal moment in the young pianist's life came in 1944 while entertaining British and American troops in Belgium when she met Jimmy McPartland, a prominent traditional-style cornetist from Chicago (and eleven years her senior). The two musicians fell in love and the following year they were married at a military base in Germany. After the war Jimmy McPartland brought his young wife to the Windy City, where the couple worked until they moved to Manhattan in 1949. Louis Armstrong greeted them on their first day in the city, and in no time they were ensconced in the middle of the bustling jazz universe. Although the McPartlands divorced in 1970, they continued to work together, stayed friends and eventually re-married. To this day Marian McPartland credits her late husband for helping to establish her professional career in the U.S. and for encouraging her broader musicianship through jobs with other bandleaders and instrumentalists.

From 1952 to 1960 Marian McPartland led a trio at the Hickory House, a restaurant-cum-nightclub on Manhattan's legendary 52nd Street, and it was there that the pianist grew in stature among her peers and legions of jazz fans, the casual and cognoscenti alike. On any given night those in attendance to hear McPartland play might include Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Steve Allen, Oscar Peterson, Artie Shaw and all kinds of celebrities from Broadway to Hollywood, along with musicians like Bucky Pizzarelli and Paul Bley hoping to sit in with the band. As for the trio, a number of different bassists and drummers backed McPartland through her lengthy, crowd-pleasing stint at the popular night spot, but the 1954-1956 edition of the band, with Bill Crow and Joe Morello, is best remembered today. Luckily, a novice recording engineer named Rudy Van Gelder taped some of McPartland's Hickory House performances for Savoy Jazz, and since then the label has released several albums' worth of the material.

Instead of simply falling back on a true-and-tried repertoire and sticking to familiar musical styles while at the Hickory House, McPartland used her employ there as a base for a wide learning experience, typically running over to Birdland and other nearby clubs, between and after her own sets, to soak up more music and to study Duke, Basie, Monk, Bud Powell, Dave Brubeck et al. "My goal was to hear everything, and play a lot of musicians' tunes," said McPartland to one interviewer. Able to summon a prodigious number of songs from memory and adaptive to any subgenre of jazz she encountered, McPartland became heralded as a superb interpreter and forceful improviser. With her trio she began to receive more and more out-of-town offers as her reputation grew, and at the famous "Great Day in Harlem" photo shoot for Esquire in 1958 she was among the dozens of jazz greats assembled, standing, appropriately enough, next to Mary Lou Williams.

Through the 1960s, as jazz surrendered a good deal of its audience to rock and roll, McPartland's enterprising knack for keeping busy came to the fore, and despite an unsatisfying stretch working for Benny Goodman she continued to grow musically. Like many other denizens of the ivories at the time, she was very much taken by the lyrical romanticism of Bill Evans, whose influence became reflected not only in her playing but in her songwriting, as evidenced in her original compositions "With You in Mind," "In the Days of Our Love" and "Ambience," to name just a few. Unsigned to any label, McPartland started her own, Halcyon, self-producing a number of albums of her work and experiencing first-hand the spectral hues of entrepreneurship for more than 15 years. She hosted a radio show on the Pacifica Radio Network station WBAI-FM in New York City for a while, too, and also helped to develop and participated in a jazz education program for Washington, D.C. schoolchildren that ended up becoming a model for similar endeavors around the country. On top of it all, McPartland, who'd supplied Down Beat with some concert reviews back in 1949, took up the pen occasionally to write witty and prescient appreciations and remembrance-filled essays for different magazines, which were collected in a volume titled All in Good Time in 1987. The book was reissued by the University of Illinois Press in February 2003 as Marian McPartland's Jazz World with new postscripts from the author.

The best-known forum for her enthusiastic advocacy of the improviser's art, however, has been, and continues to be, "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," a radio program heard weekly on National Public Radio for the past 25 years, making the series NPR's longest-running cultural program. Developed and presented by South Carolina Educational Radio, "Piano Jazz" today reaches listeners in 45 states and 24 foreign countries. "Marian's radio show has done more to promote jazz than people realize," remarked alto saxophone star Phil Woods not too long ago. Featuring intimate piano duets and impromptu conversation, twenty-six new installments of the hour-long show are taped each year with guests who have included nearly all the important jazz artists of the age and other musical luminaries like Ray Charles, Tony Bennett and the members of Steely Dan. Noting that McPartland never gets too technical on "Piano Jazz" for her audience, critic and author Gary Giddins last year wrote: "The courtliness of it all, and the focus on music-making with only scattered touches of biography, elicit an ingenuous desire to reveal and explain." Winner of the prestigious Peabody Award in 1984 and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1991, "Piano Jazz" has also received honors from the New York Festival and the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, and in 2000 McPartland was named one of the American Jazz Masters by the National Endowment for the Arts.

McPartland has released over 60 albums on Concord Records, and her twenty-five year long tenure at the label represents quite an enviable milestone in itself. Consisting of trio dates, naturally, as well as special projects like her 1997 string-backed album Silent Pool, McPartland's recording legacy at Concord also includes choice "Piano Jazz" broadcasts originally released on Concord's Jazz Alliance subsidiary label and reissues of her Halcyon albums. Particularly esteemed are her "songbook" albums that pay homage to composers like Benny Carter, Ellington and Strayhorn, her old friend Alec Wilder and, of course, Mary Lou Williams. Her 2002 recording, Live at Shanghai Jazz, reunites her in a trio with her Hickory House drummer Joe Morello and bassist Rufus Reid. The following year saw the reissue of a 2CD archival set titled Windows culled from previously released quartet material and 2004 finds another classic in the Piano Jazz CD series with guest and long-time friend, the late, great Lionel Hampton.

2004 was a banner year for Marian McPartland. She was awarded her first Grammy, a Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award celebrating her work as an educator, writer and radio host. She also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Piano Jazz with a live taping in front of an audience at Kennedy Center, Washington DC on June 4, 2004 with special guest Peter Cincotti, and she was a headliner at the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival in August. Marian was honored in October by the nation's premiere jazz radio station, Newark, NJ's WBGO, at their 25th Anniversary Gala as recipient of their first annual Jazz Achievement Awards, alongside long-time friends and fellow pianists Dave Brubeck and Dr. Billy Taylor. Berklee School of Music gave Marian an Honorary Doctorate in early 2005 starting the year off with a bang.

Concord Records documented Marian's historic 85th birthday party at Birdland with a star-studded, 2CD set entitled: Marian McPartland & Friends: 85 Candles - Live From New York released March 15, 2005. On the same day Jazz Alliance released a Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz with guests Steely Dan. They followed with new volumes in the Piano Jazz series featuring Marian and guests Elvis Costello, Bruce Hornsby, and Teddy Wilson. Forthcoming Piano Jazz cd releases feature Shirley Horn and John Medeski.

On March 20, 2005 Marian McPartland turned 87, but fans and interviewers should wisely refrain from using the word "octogenarian" in her presence. She continues to perform for audiences around the world, and, needless to say, talk of retirement confounds the seemingly indefatigable pianist, entertainer and legend who has guests booked for "Piano Jazz" two years from now.

"There are no words to describe what a thrill it was to perform with Marian on '…Piano Jazz.'  I will never forget it. She's even more wonderful and gracious and soulful than she seems to be on the air."
- Patricia Barber, pianist/vocalist, Blue Note Recording Artist

"MM is a harmonic genius. Her singular musical voice encompasses the past, present and the future of jazz."
- Bill Charlap, pianist, Blue Note Recording Artist

"Marian McPartland has been a major force in jazz for over 50 years. The character and integrity of her musical genius places her among the jazz greats."
- Jackie King, guitarist/educator, Indigo Moon Recording Artist
Marian McPartland is a Concord Recording Artist and endorses Baldwin Pianos.  Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is produced by South Carolina Educational Radio and distributed by NPR.


Musical inspirations-

I’ve drawn inspiration from so many of the greats- both known and 
relatively unknown.  Growing up I started guitar because of a movie 
that I saw about the Beatles. I then discovered Van Halen, Wes 
Montgomery, and anything else in-between that I could get my hands/
ears on.

Besides the obvious “guitar heroes”, I’ve found myself inspired by 
both musicians and non-musicians alike; from Jaco Pastorius to Brian 
Wilson, to film maker Woody Allen, to friends of mine who make art 
just to satisfy their creative need and not being driven by material/ 
monetary needs. This is perhaps the greatest inspiration of all- the 
need just to create.

In the past few months, things I've been listening to are- Daniel 
Lanois' productions, Pat Metheny's straight-ahead jazz playing, old 
New Orleans R&B and K.D. Lang's voice. They've all been inspiring to 
me recently.

Music and healing-

This subject has grown to be one of particular interest to me in 
recent years. I believe that since music is sound and vibration, this 
is something that should be brought into the Western medical world. 
We are just beginning to pick up on things that Tibetan monks have 
known for centuries. To me, music is just like different smells, and 
scents- just as aromatherapy has grown to be so popular and proven to 
affect people in a positive way, I'm sure that music will be applied 
more towards personal healing and growth in the upcoming years.


 Guitarist Shane Theriot, was born in Louisiana. Originally from the New Orleans area, he now resides in both La. and Nashville where, in addition to his work with the world renowned Neville Brothers, he's busy in the recording scenes of both Nashville and New Orleans. Beginning guitar at age 9, Shane was exposed to many kinds of music in the area, from Cajun/Zydeco to Rock and Jazz. He performed his first “professional gig” at age 11, during the New Orleans World Fair. “My family was into music all the time. My aunt was a pianist with the New Orleans Symphony and my uncles all played guitar” he says.

Soon after graduating high school, Shane headed for the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, where he studied with such names as Joe DiOrio, Paul Gilbert and Scott Henderson (then with pianist Chick Corea), who would later recommend Shane for a teaching position at the Atlanta Institute of Music. He graduated from the Musicians Institute in 1990 with top honors in all styles. Only 3 students out of a class of 300 were granted this honor.

After teaching and performing local gigs for two years, Shane took the advice of fellow instructor/guitarist Jimmy Herring (Jazz is Dead, A.R.U., Phil Lesh & Friends) and moved to Nashville. Since moving to Nashville, Shane has performed and recorded with such artists as Joel Sonnier, Lee Greenwood, a compilation record for Schoolhouse Rock, former Allman Bros. keyboard man Johnny Neel, Crystal Taliefaro, Sam Moore (Sam and Dave) and done countless other jingles and demos, as well as a recent release by bassist Adam Nitti featuring Dave Weckl, Victor Wooten, and Joe Zawinul drummer Kirk Covington. Shane has recently performed on a new recording with Jewel and was instrumental in putting together a New Orleans band with Willie Nelson for the upcoming major movie, The Dukes of Hazard.

On the last Neville Brothers recording (to date), "Valence Street" (Columbia Records),Shane is present on every track with the exception of “Mona Lisa.” The recordings were split between sessions in New Orleans and Nashville. Shane has also written several instructional books and columns published in Guitar Player magazine and Guitar Nine. One of the more successful and well known of these is the instructional book/C.D. entitled “New Orleans Funk Guitar”, available from Warner Bros. Publications.

Shane is proud of the amount of music and culture in New Orleans. “Growing up in the area,you take for granted the impact the music of South Louisiana has had. There’s Funk, Dixieland, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Cajun and Zydeco.

"Playing with the Neville Brothers has made me really value the music even more because they invented some of that stuff” he laughs. His solo record, Highway 90, features hometown rhythms and sounds, which he describes as “second-line grooves with a touch of Zydeco and burning guitar.”

Being a member of the Neville Brothers band has proven to be a great education for Shane, musically and culturally. He met his wife Shiho, on a tour of Japan and has made many friends around the world. “No other session can give you the feeling of playing in a great band,” he says. “For me the Neville Brothers gig is the best of both worlds- I get to go home and play great music. And for that I’m very grateful."

Shane has had his songs recorded by the following artists:
Essra Mohawk (Frank Zappa, solo artist/songwriter); co-wrote "Walk Before
You Fly" (from Essie Mae Hawk meets the Killer Groove Band)
Wayne Toups "Oh Louisiana" (from "Little Wooden Box")
Johnny Neel "Caught Me on my Blind Side" (from "Late Night Breakfast")
Leni Stern "On the Outside" (from "13").
Shane's music has been featured on VH1, Discovery Channel, and HGTV as well as many others.


Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, Jaco Pastorius, Scott Henderson, Dan Gilbert, Terry Bozzio, Aaron Copeland, Igor Stravinsky, Michael Brecker, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, etc.… "I’ve been influenced by and continue to be inspired by the above musicians, mostly guitarists, however, I always try to learn a little something from any type of music or playing situation. Reading Modern Drummer magazine is sometimes more inspiring to me than reading guitar magazines, because deep down I think I was meant to be a drummer. As far as drummers that inspire me, I’ve been blessed to have worked on various projects and gigs with Kenny Aronoff, Zigaboo Modeliste, Richie Hayward, Paul Leim, Eddie Bayers, Jeff Sipe, Willie Green, and Kirk Covington. These guys have all been helpful in inspiring me and making me more aware of different elements involved in a playing situation, be it a session or gig. Right now the guy I’d really like to work with on drums is Brian Blade. My friends Pat McDonald and David Northrup in Nashville always blow me away. And of course Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl are a total source of amazement and inspiration to me. There are way too many great drummers out there to list all of them."

"On bass the main guy would be Jaco - I must have read that book 'Jaco' about 3 times. I also love the playing of Victor Wooten, (he is a true professional- not to mention the “next Jaco”, to me anyway) Adam Nitti, (amazing chops, tone and a nonstop commitment to improvement - also a great friend) Marcus Miller, Kim Stone - (another player who deserves more attention) and a lot of other guys-David Johnson from the Nevilles, Jeff Cox, David Hungate, Willie Weeks and Michael Rhodes in Nashville, whom I’ve had the honor of working with on recording projects."

"Michael Brecker is always a treat on the ears as well as an excellent guy to pick apart! I also dig Bob Berg and Coltrane too. Herbie Hancock, Alan Pasqua, Kenny Kirkland, Johnny Neel, Art Neville and Keith Jarrett are some of my favorites on keys - I also really enjoy the music of Wayne Shorter."

"I try to stay inspired every day but it can be hard to do. Sometimes a student suddenly grasping a scale or concept is a total inspiration. Sometimes just playing a guitar that I haven’t picked up for a while is an inspiration. Woody Allen movies are a total source of inspiration (don’t ask me why!) And as corny as it may sound, I love the rain in New Orleans. That is a total inspiration to me. It’s like no other place that I’ve been. "

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