Driven by passion, power, and purpose, jazz saxophonist, Kephyan Sheppard, has made his grand entrance into the world of smooth jazz. As a local favorite in his hometown of Palm Springs, CA, Kephyan is eager to share his talent and love of music with the rest of the world.
His debut project, Kephyan:Revealed, released March 1, 2011, is a melodic mix of sound influenced by R&B, funk, gospel, soul and even hip-hop, creating a fresh spin on a smooth jazz album. With over 2 years in production, Kephyan wrote and produced 9 of the 11 tracks, with 2 gospel cover songs to pay homage to his roots in the church.
Kephyan picked up a saxophone at age 6 in the Pentecostal church, where he learned to quickly adapt to constant changes in key and tempo. Most importantly, it was there that he developed his ability to push his soul and spirit through his instrument, and connect with his audience in an authentic and meaningful way. As a deeply spiritual man, he approaches his musical career with a higher calling and a desire to not only entertain, but positively influence those that hear his music. “I think people see the saxophone as a calming force, something that will smooth out the evening and the edges. I can be playing in a really busy restaurant or café, and it could be crazy… but once the music gets going, everyone just calms down.” Kephyan plays soprano, alto, and most recently the tenor saxophone, which he used to record his entire debut album.
Through his work as a musician, Kephyan wants to help change the perception of smooth jazz artists, by adding a new type of influence and inspiration through gospel, standards, neo-soul, and hip-hop. “All my life I’ve been what people expected me to be, but I realize that doesn’t serve a purpose… to conform to what the world wants. I’ve got to be me, and I hope to encourage others to do the same. You’ve gotta be as smooth as you wanna make it.”
Kephyan currently serves as the Pastor of Word of Life Fellowship Center in Desert Hot Springs. Although he has been inactive the last4 years because of ministry endeavors, he is working on his return in a much anticipated follow up project.... a smooth jazz tribute to 90's R & b music! stay tuned!