James Shipp is a sought-after Brazilian percussionist and a multi-instrumentalist in bands both mostly-improvised and tightly arranged, a composer of music for experimental theater, and a producer of recordings, bringing to bear his knowledge of both acoustic and analog electronic instruments to a wide range of projects.
As a leader, Shipp has been performing his mostly satirical songs solo and with his band since 2016. He is a member of the MakeSpeak Ensemble, a collaborative trio that composes and performs music for dance and theater. Since 2012, he has performed as a duo with trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis; they released their first album, Indigo, to audiences at the Wangeratta Festival of Jazz & Blues in Victoria, Australia. Shipps’ band Nós Novo, founded in 2007, took improvisors’ ears to traditional Irish repertoire and released Strange Sweethearts in America in 2009.
Shipp currently tours with the Anat Cohen Tentet, Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show, Banda Magda, Nadje Noordhuis Quintet, and Christina Courtin (Pilot Violet). He has recorded and performed with Paquito d’Rivera, Kurt Elling, Snarky Puppy, Bokante, Kate McGarry, Becca Stevens, Bob Lanzetti, Kronos Quartet, and Sting.
Shipp has been a bandleader, composer, producer, and workshop facilitator for Carnegie Hall’s social impact programs for the last decade, working with thousands of people of all ages in prisons, jails, hospitals, shelters, and schools throughout New York City. He has co-directed and produced Carnegie Hall’s youth-driven, genre-crossing Future Music Project Ensemble since its formation in 2016, and was the creative director and lead educator of the music program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility for its 2015/16 season. Shipp was a faculty artist at the Silkroad’s 2016 Global Musician Workshop, where he taught Brazilian, Irish, and Finnish tunes to students from all over the world. He received a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music.