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Kiefer

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Jazz runs deep in pianist and producer Kiefer Shackelford’s veins. His father, a piano player and jazz enthusiast, taught him to play the the blues practically before he could walk, and he’s been obsessed by the piano’s creative possibilities ever since.
He started producing beats at around age twelve, but at the time he saw producing as secondary to his more serious pursuit of a career as a jazz pianist. After moving from San Diego to Los Angeles to study music at UCLA under Kenny Burrell, he began to see how he could create synergy between the jazz piano and beats for a sound that was truly his own. While his peers performed over live instrumentation, Kiefer was producing electronic beats completely free from sampled melodic material or drum breaks.
After joining Mndsgn’s live trio as a keyboardist, Kiefer recorded Kickinit Alone, a downtempo album written in the aftermath of a relationship, which he released on Stones Throw’s adventurous Leaving Records imprint in 2016. Kickinit Alone was nominated for an A2IM Libera Award for Best Jazz Album and its fans included Bandcamp, BBC tastemakers Benji B and Tom Ravenscroft, and Pitchfork, which described the title track as “a striking entry to this lineage of hip-hop inextricably tethered to jazz”. As well as being a constant in Mndsgn’s live band, Kiefer currently plays in Terrace Martin's group and has shared the stage with Abraham Laboriel, Jonwayne and Moses Sumney.

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