Robert Shahid

Host, Master Class with Robert Shahid

Philadelphia native Robert E. Shahid grew up with a constant musical influence. His mother sang opera, his aunt composed and played piano, his grandfather sang in the famed Philadelphia Male Chorus, and his uncle was a legendary vibraphonist for Dave Brubeck, Lynn Hope, and Red Prysock. With those musical influences, Robert studied drums in high school and, after graduating from Florida A&M University, later founded The New Philadelphia Jazz Quintet.

Robert has been privileged to perform with Nat Adderly, Rufus Harley, Red Prysock, The Fabulous Emotions, Bobby Timmons, Percy Mayfield, Melton Mustafa, and has been invited to sit in or share the stage with countless others. He has been instrumental in performing for and encouraging youth to pursue their musical interests. Robert believes, “The language of music has been the most consistent common denominator for the sharing of appreciation for the gift of life.”

Robert performs regularly with a variety of local and national ensembles.

Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bassist, and an accomplished pianist bandleader, and composer. Mingus favored complex rhythms, mixed harmonies and a combination of structured and free improvisation in his music, drawing heavily from black gospel music and the blues.

Kurt Elling
John Abbott / Flickr

Kurt Elling is a baritone singer with a four octave range. He sings vocalese, the art of performing words over improvised jazz solos.

Abbey Lincoln, born Anna Marie Wooldridge, is one of the most fearless and uncompromising singers of our era. Singing in a style of both bold projection and expressive restraint, critics often compare her to Billie Holiday. Lincoln’s career ranged from acting in Hollywood films, to outspoken civil rights advocacy in the 1960’s.

Jimmy Heath with audience at Rockerfeller Center, NYC 1977
<a href=“https://www.flickr.com/photos/tommarcello/">Tom Marcello</a> / Flickr

Born in West Philadelphia, James "Jimmy" Heath was part of a musical family. His older brother Percy spent over forty years as bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet, and his younger brother Albert became a world renowned drummer. The three brothers are fondly referred to as “The Heath brothers.” Their mother called them “Lord Percy,” “King James,” and “Prince Albert.” 

With his unique “tempo-less” ballads and high voice, Little Jimmy Scott was a spellbinding jazz vocalist. Though his style was under appreciated by the larger listening public for most of his professional performing career, he was nevertheless admired by Nancy Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Shirley Horn, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Michael Jackson, and many others. 

Pages