I'm a 100-year-old Jazz Musician, Composer, and Singer, Berisford “Shep” Shepherd AMA!
I’m here with the 100 years young, Berisford “Shep” Shepherd. There is so much to say about this wonderful man, but this quick bio will have to do. “Mr. Berisford “Shep” Shepherd is an arranger, composer, drummer, trombonist, contractor, and singer. Born in Honduras in 1917, and raised in Philadelphia, he attended Jules E. Mastbaum Area Conservatory and Vocational School where he was being groomed to play percussion in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Shep served four years in the army composing, arranging, conducting, and playing trombone. After his service, he settled in New York City where he played and contracted for Broadway shows. Shep has performed and written for seminal figures such as Benny Carter, Cy Oliver, Artie Shaw, Patti Page, Lionel Hampton, and Lena Horne among others. Because of the high-demand for his arrangements, the catchphrase “Get Shep” became common among New York musicians. He toured with various Broadway shows while based in New York. One of these shows led to San Francisco, where he eventually settled and was the house drummer at Finocchio’s for 23 years. Shep moved down to South Orange County in 2007 where he met his wife, Joy. She and Shep currently reside in San Clemente, California” Here’s a video of him singing at 99 years old. He’s got a concert this Friday singing with the Saddleback College Big Band in Mission Viejo, CA. Ask him anything!
Edit: Shep is going to rehearse with the band, but he will be back to answer more questions! If you guys have any questions about his upcoming concert, I'll be more than happy to answer them!
Edit 2: Shep is back!
Edit 3: Sorry guys, Shep has got to head home. Thanks so much for the questions! Hope to see you guys at the concert! Here’s a video of him being interviewed by Saddleback College’s jazz director, Joey Sellers, in case you wanted to know more about him.