Essence of Ellington
Since it's inception in 1994, the John Shapley Octet has grown in popularity amoung mainstream jazz listeners throughout the United States. Through the heterogenous blend of three saxophones, two brass, and rhythm section, this band has a truly dynanmic and interesting sound. It is a slight departure from the 'Big band Sound', using less instruments and acheiving a rich sound in the five-horn section. The repertoire includes styles spanning jazz history as well as original compositions which are an innovative blend of new and familiar sounds. The band appears regularly at jazz festivals and concerts in the south Florida area, tours frequently in the southeastern United States at various clubs and venues, and conducts jazz clinics in public schools and universities. John Shapley's talents include mastery of all the saxophones, flute, and clarinet. He also is a master composer, arranger and professor of music. The John Shapley Octet prides itself in performing traditional jazz music and in entertaining audiences of all ages. Of particular importance is the the recent 'Tribute to Duke Ellington' children's jazz education program that has been implemented in the public schools throughout the state of Florida.