Bio

Guitarist and composer Rex Shepherd has been writing and performing music for more than 30 years. Initially a rock and blues player, Shepherd became entranced by the playing of guitarist Jim Hall on the first listen. He began learning the jazz language on guitar, studying at the University of Akron in Ohio, growing toward becoming a known performer and composer in the Cleveland area.  His musical journey began with an affinity for the more "outside" music of Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman, Sam Rivers, and Anthony Braxton. His current style, which is grown from the jazz tradition, employs a liberal application of melody and suggestive harmonies enabling free expression of musical ideas in a context he refers to as conceptual improvisation. He utilizes brief to moderate length melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ideas to propel exploration of sonic space, blurring the boundary between written and free music. Some of his exploration includes alternative approaches to the guitar, using found objects, bowing, and effects and loops to give the instrument an extended voice. Some of the highlights of his career to date include recording and performing albums of his compositions with some of the players who worked with both Sam Rivers and Albert Ayler.