"… it’s in his linking of international influences with his own local traditions that his strength lies." Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast [UK]



Kyle Shepherd is arguably one of South Africa’s leading progressive pianists, composers and band leaders of his generation.

Internationally recognized for his distinctive compositional style & performances, Shepherd has made a huge impression on debut as a film score composer for the critically-acclaimed film, Noem My Skollie / Call Me Thief – South Africa’s official entry to the 2017 Academy Awards – for which he scored a nomination for the 2017 South African Film & Television Award [SAFTA] for Best Achievement in an Original Music Score in a Feature Film. He was awarded the 2018 South African Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Award: Book, Creative Collection and Digital Contribution 2018, hosted by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), for ´Best Musical Composition´ for his composition, ´Noem My Skollie´! Shepherd’s music also features prominently in independent film-maker Nadine Cloete’s documentary, Action Kommandant, based on the untold story of the young South African revolutionary freedom fighter, Ashley Kriel.

In March / April 2018, Shepherd´s musical soundtrack was featured in Lhola Amira´s multi-media arts exhibition, entitled ´Sinking: Xa Sinqamla Unxubo`, at the renowned SMAC Gallery in Cape Town. The 33 year old virtuoso pianist who has a well-established record of celebrated performances in South Africa, Europe, Asia (including Japan, India and China), Canada and the USA, has already released seven critically acclaimed albums in his young career.


In 2016, Shepherd was invited to curate the 49th SWR NEWJazz Meeting in Germany. This episode of the prestigious 2016 NEWJazz Meeting comprised four days’ of rehearsals in the broadcasting studios of the Südwestrundfunk, followed by a concert tour in the SWR broadcasting area from 25 to 27 November 2016. A Double Album entitled SWR NEWJazz Meeting 2016: Sound Portraits From Contemporary Africa comprising the best performance tracks recorded during the concert tour, was released under the SWR Jazzhaus label in 2017! The album features Kyle Shepherd on piano & keyboard, Lionel Loueke [Benin / USA] on guitar & vocals, Mthunzi Mvubu – on saxophone, Shane Cooper on bass & Jonno Sweetman on drums & percussion.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack composed by Shepherd for the feature film ‘Noem My Skollie / Call Me Thief’ was released in November 2016. ‘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 [2009]’, ‘A Portrait of Home’ [2010] & ‘South African History !X’ [2014], also attracted SAMA nominations.


"Best Original Score"- Fiela se Kind- Silwerskerm Film Festival [2019]

"Best original Score"- Noem My Skollie- Humanities and Social Sciences Award [2018] UNISA National Piano Competition Award [2015]

Winner Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year' Award [2014]

21 ICONS South Africa Season III [November 2015]

Kyle Shepherd graduated with a Masters of Music degree cum laude from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africain

Notable Performances:

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), 2016 SWR NEWJazz Meeting (Germany) at Alte Feuerwache (Mannheim), Sudhaus (Tübingen), Tollhaus (Karlsruhe), The Bird’s Eye Jazz Club (Switzerland), La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland), Jazzwerkstatt Festival Bern (Switzerland), Reformierte Dorfkirche Kleinhüningen (Switzerland), Klubschule St. Gallen (Switzerland), BeFlat Jazz Club (Germany), Der Sendesaal, (Germany), Hallenbad Kultur Am Schactweg, (Germany), The Tokyo Jazz Festival (Japan), Garaman Hall (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 Gaborone International Music and Culture Week Festival (Botswana), The Orbit Jazz Club (South Africa), The Wits Great Hall (South Africa), CCFM – The Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano (Mozambique), 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.