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George Shearing

Born: August 13th 1919
Place of Birth: Battersea, London
Influences: Bud Powell, Bill Evans

George Shearing was the youngest of nine children, from birth he was blind although this was no hindrance towards his musical ability when he started to learn the piano at 3. His musical education consisted of 4 years at a blind school and although he was offered university offers to take part in a music degree, he turned them all down to play piano in a pub so he could bring money in for the family.

Shortly after working in pubs, Shearing started to work for radio shows, dance bands and also played in hotels in the mid 30s, and also for a time Shearing worked with Stephane Grappelli. Shearing soon found the opportunity to move to the USA, and in 1947 he set up his famous quintet. His First album was produced in 1949 was named George Shearing: Vol. 57-Verve Jazz Masters, players such as

Accompanied Shearing on this album and indeed mostly played with him until 1967, with a few personnel changes.

During this time Shearings fame was well deserved, but what really entrenched him into the big time was his first gig at the legendary jazz nightclub Birdland, in New York. From that point onwards Shearing enjoyed a great musical life and carries on to do so.

Even though Shearing was known for taking such styles as Earl Hines, Horace Silver, there are few who will disparage his technical skills or the relish with which he approaches music.

in 1982 and 1983 Shearing won 2 Grammy Awards with recordings he made for Mel Torme, and also round that time Shearing was filmed for an interview with Melvin Brag on the English Channel ITV. In 1975 the College of Westminster in Salt Lake City awarded Shearing with an honorary Doctor of Music degree. Since that time 3 Presidents (Ford, Carter and Reagan) have asked Shearing to play in the Whitehouse, along with performing at a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Shearing and his wife now spend their time staying at either their apartment in New York and their cottage in England.


Not full discography to many to put down. References

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