Based: Cape Town

Kyle Shepherd, arguably one of South Africa’s leading progressive pianists and composers of his generation, is fast gaining international recognition for his distinctive compositional style and performances.

The twenty-eight-year-old virtuoso pianist who has a well-established record of celebrated performances in South Africa, Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA has already released five (5) critically acclaimed albums in his young career. ‘Dream State’, a 21-track double album of his Trio released in 2014, garnered nominations for both the 2015 South African Music Award [SAMA] and a 2015 Metro FM Music Award in the Jazz Category. His debut solo piano offering ‘Into Darkness’, recorded in Japan was launched with a tour in the South-East Asian country in the same year [2014] and included a performance at the prestigious Tokyo Jazz Festival. Previous releases ‘fineART’, ‘A Portrait of Home’ & ‘South African History !X’, have also attracted SAMA nominations.

The award-winning Shepherd, recipient of both the coveted ‘UNISA National Piano Competition Award [2015] and the ‘Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year’ Award [2014] in the Jazz Category has been selected for the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s [SABC 3] 21 ICONS South Africa Season III in November 2015 “for his ability to transcend cultural barriers by using music as an art form to communicate commonalities and differences across diverse nations. He has used his aptitude for music as a thread to embrace and harness creativity in society.”

Shepherd regularly performs in concert as a Solo pianist, while also leading his Trio, with Shane Cooper (double bass) and Jonno Sweetman (drums). The Trio recently completed a tour of Canada [June 2015] and Southern African [September/October 2015] that saw them perform in Mozambique, Botswana and major cities in South Africa.

“This is a true trio – intricately intertwining as they play Shepherd’s music; pensive and exhilarating by turns.” Nigel Vermaas, South Africa

Shepherd, a regular member of the Carlo Mombelli ‘Stories’ Quartet, Kesivan & the Lights – who performed at Carnegie Hall, New York in 2014, The Claude Cozens Trio, The Benjamin Jephta Quartet and Skyjack (previously Blackbox), a South African-Swiss collaboration which will be performing and releasing their debut self-entitled album in Switzerland in January 2016‘, is currently scoring the music for an independent film entitled ‘Noem My Skollie’. The film, a moving crime drama set in Cape Town in the late 60s, which was written by John Fredericks and directed by Daryne Joshua, is set for cinema release later in 2016!


Apart from South Africa, Shepherd has also performed in Japan, USA, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, France, Denmark, India, Malaysia, China, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe, with notable concert appearances, either as a solo pianist or trio, quartet and other formats at Carnegie Hall (USA), Klavierhaus (USA), The Bird’s Eye Jazz Club (Switzerland), Jazzwerkstatt Festival Bern (Switzerland), Reformierte Dorfkirche Kleinhüningen (Switzerland), Klubschule St. Gallen (Switzerland), Der Sendesaal, (Germany), Hallenbad Kultur Am Schactweg, (Germany), The Tokyo Jazz Festival (Japan), Body & Soul Jazz Club (Japan), Shikiori (Japan), Kaho Gekijo Kabuki Theatre (Japan), Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and L’Onde Théâtre et Centre d’art as part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris (France), The Aarhus Jazz Festival (Denmark), The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (South Africa), The Joy of Jazz Festival (South Africa), The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown (South Africa), The Mahikeng Jazz Festival (South Africa), Harare International Festival – HIFA (Zimbabwe),The Tianjin International Jazz Festival (China), No Black Tie (Malaysia), MICA (India), B-Flat (India), The Gonsalves Mansion ‘Home of Jazz’ (India) and Canada’s Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Victoria International Jazz Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival & Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.