Shipp was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and began playing piano at six years old. His mother was a friend of trumpeter Clifford Brown. He was strongly attracted to jazz, but also played in rock groups while in high school. Shipp attended the University of Delaware for one year, then the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with saxophonist/composer Joe Maneri. He has cited private lessons with Dennis Sandole (who also taught saxophonist John Coltrane) as being crucial to his development.
Shipp moved to New York in 1984 and has been very active since the early 1990s, appearing on dozens of albums as a leader, sideman or producer. He was initially most active in free jazz, but has since branched out, notably exploring music that touches on contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica. At the beginning of his career Shipp was stylistically compared to some of his predecessors in the jazz piano pantheon but has since been recognized as a complete stylistic innovator on the piano – with AllMusic referring to his “unique and recognizable style”; and Larry Blumenfeld in Jazziz Magazine referring to Shipp as “stunning in originality.” Jazziz Magazine also referred to Shipp’s CD 4D as “further proof of his idiosyncratic genius.”
For the 3rd year the Chicago Jazz Festival is partnering with PianoForte Foundation to present three solo piano concerts at their beautiful and intimate concert hall at 1335 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. All concerts begin at 5:30 and end at 6:30.For more information call (312) 291-0291