Shane Simpson is a pianist, composer, and teaching artist based in Brooklyn, NY. His piano stylings are indebted to the improvising tradition of Jelly Roll Morton, Earl Hines, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Cecil Taylor. Shane is a member of Petite Feet, an experimental ragtime trio and the ensemble-in-residence at New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab in Boston. Though self-described as “just your neighborhood ragtime band,” the trio comprising saxophone, piano, and drums draws inspiration from such diverse influences as dance music, glitch art, minimalism, free improvisation, and memes. Acclaimed jazz pianist Ethan Iverson calls the trio’s debut record Nude Piano: Iconic Rags of Scott Joplin, “an engaging surprise.” Petite Feet combines a traditional employment of acoustic instruments with contemporary electronic post-production. In the liner notes for the album, Ted Reichman describes Nude Piano as “approach[ing] some kind of an ideal where the music of the mechanical past and the techniques of the digital present can exist in harmony.”
Originating from the North Shore of Chicago, Shane has performed in cities throughout the US, and he appeared at the Panama Jazz Festival in 2017. His mentors include some of the best pianists and improvisers in the world including Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, Anthony Coleman, Bruce Brubaker, and Ran Blake who premiered Shane's original composition Bright at the Kitano with vocalist Sara Serpa in 2016. In 2015, Shane received the Tourjée Alumni Scholarship Award from New England Conservatory (NEC) where he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in Jazz Performance.
He formerly served as an Affiliated Artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as faculty at NEC in Boston. He remains a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic, faculty member at NEC's Jazz Lab and staff member at the Maine Jazz Camp.