Pete Sheppard Gypsy Jazz Guitar Player Pete Sheppard first picked up one of his father's guitars at around 4 years old, but it wasn't until Pete reached the age of 13 that he cut his teeth on gypsy style swing. His musical apprenticeship was playing as a guitar duo with his father, sailing and caravanning all over France busking cafés, bars and restaurants as they went and learning from the gypsies themselves. Pete is also a classical guitar player, and has formed and played with various rock bands ever since his early teens when he also co-authored material for a Jazz-funk band. During this time he has had many a stint with many jazz outfits in Cornwall and other trad jazz bands. He was also a co-founder of gypsy jazz band Manouche.

Later, after moving to Hampshire due to work commitments, Pete formed Jazz Gitanes in 1996. A guitar duo in its original form had several successful years playing some prestigious jazz clubs like the Concorde Club in Eastleigh (as support to Georgie Fame, Bucky Pizzarelli, Alan Barnes and Stacey Kent). Jazz Gitanes produced two CDs, one in 1999 and the other in 2001.

Pete can also be seen playing regularly, and since 2003, with other leading exponential musicians at Le Quecumbar, the UK's specialist gypsy swing venue in Battersea: Top performers such as Michael Ward-Bergeman, Mike Piggot, Dan Teper, Andy Aitchison, Nils Solberg, Dave Kelbie, Ducato Pietrowoski, and even Gary Potter. He has also performed with the Le Quecumbar All Stars at the L'Esprit Manouche gypsy jazz festival in Birmingham and on the recent Le Quecumbar All Stars CD that was published in 2007

During 2010 Pete teamed up with local musicians from Southampton; bass player Bastien Terraz and fellow gypsy swing guitarist Chris White to form a new gypsy swing collaboration called The Manusa Project. Their repertoire still includes many of the great jazz standards from the '30s, '40s and '50s, bossa novas, and many of the compositions from the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli.They produced a CD called SOS in 2011.

What They Say:

  • "Arguably the best in the world" - Pete Sheppard
  • "Pete 'Tiger' Sheppard? Never heard of him" - Charlie Parker
  • "Who is he?" - Oscar Peterson
  • "Get out of 'My Way'" - Frank Sinatra
  • "His name should be in lights!!" - Bucky Pizzarelli
  • "Pete has not been nicknamed "Tiger" for nothing, when you witness the energy and fire of his playing, the "Tiger" is out!. He oozes with passion for the music and it shows, not only a great player to listen to but oh so watchable you can't help but fall in love with this eclectic players style, humour and skill, all of which are in abundance, watch this man he will go far." - Sylvia Rushbrooke Le QuecumBar
  • "Pete Sheppard is a young man who has totally embraced the French Café style of jazz guitar playing as conceived by Django Reinhardt (1910 - 1953). Pete's playing is vibrant and exceptionally melodic. He adds a living dimension to the great jazz guitar tradition" - Chris Walker BBC (Radio Solent jazz presenter)
  • "Peter possesses a startling and fluid single string technique that is full of inventive phrases and can halt a conversation in the first four bars. His rhythm playing is as robust as you would expect from a player dedicated to the school of Reinhardt, and he is one of the top jazz guitarists this country has produced. And he is getting better all the time!" - Keith Cooper Jazz Guitarist, Singer and Jazz Critic
  • ".....we learned all about this genre long ago from Ian Cruikshank, and the mercurial George at the Furze Bush, Ball Hill, who in turn brought us Patrick Saussois, and the incredible skills of a modern generation of guitarists like Gary Potter. From this illustrious basis Peter Sheppard takes things one step further into the realms of skill and creativity, ......." - Patrick Cogswell, Hungerford Arts Festival Organiser and Critic