Steve Shapiro

Vibraphonist and composer Steve Shapiro has recorded or performed with some of the biggest stars in jazz and pop, including Steely Dan, Ornette Coleman, Phil Collins, SpyroGyra, Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack, Regina Belle, Pat Martino, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, and They Might Be Giants.

An accomplished producer/arranger, Steve’s work has appeared in hundreds of television and film projects, including work for Disney/Pixar related to over forty feature film releases.

Steve has been a pioneer of using audio and midi technology with the vibes, and has developed a unique voice inspired by contemporary electric keyboards. He has released six recordings as a leader, and continues to record and perform in NYC. The industry journal MIX Magazine writes, “Steve Shapiro is a legitimate triple-threat musician.” Steve is a Yamaha performing artist and plays Balter/VicFirth signature mallets.


About the Session

Arranging Contemporary “Cover” Songs For Vibraphone

Interpreting modern and popular song forms can be an interesting challenge for the improvising mallet player, especially when confronted with the limited range of the vibraphone. While there is an established and systematic method for playing traditional jazz standards, more contemporary “cover” songs often use specialized harmonic and rhythmic motion, and may require a different approach. This clinic/performance will explore arranging concepts for vibraphone on material that falls outside the standard jazz repertoire, with examples from modern pop/rock songwriters. Starting with the original recording, we will walk through the unique features of the song and discuss how to best translate and communicate these aspects on vibes, whether in a solo or group setting. Using thoughtful arrangements, these works can be performed quite successfully on mallet instruments, and can help the artist to connect with a wide and diverse audience.

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