Below Sea Level
BIO Shan Arsenault, jazz guitarist, composer and educator was born in Prince Edward Island and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Inspired by his mother's playing, he took up the guitar at age seven. Mostly self-taught, Shan has spent many years cultivating a unique sound. Over his long career, Shan has performed as a side man with countless musicians earning the reputation of a first-call player. Among the many artists he has performed with are Jeff Healy, Doug Mallory, Doug (Dr. Music) Riley, Jerry Granelli, Terry Hattie, Alfie Zappacosta, Dutch Mason, Kirk MacDonald, Lorne Lofsky, Skip Beckwith, Don Palmer, Chris Mitchell, Joe Sealy, Francois Houle, Han Bennink and the Paul Cram Sextet. He has toured throughout Canada and the U.S. and performed in many of Canada's Jazz Festivals, including the prestigious Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 1997 Shan was nominated for an ECMA in the category of 'Best Jazz Artist.' Shan received a Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia (MIANS) award for Best Jazz/Blues Recording/Artist for his recording 'The Jazz Beat Sessions' (June 2005). Shan has completed two recordings to date. 'The Jazz Beat Sessions' is a compilation of two previously aired sessions for the nationally broadcast CBC program Jazz Beat. The CD includes seven of Shan's original compositions as well as two standards. Shan is backed up solidly by Jamie Gatti on bass and Tom Roach & Dave Burton on drums. Shan's second international release 'Below Sea Level' is now available. 'Below Sea Level' is ten of Shan's original compositions for jazz guitar trio and quartet. Shan is committed to performing as a band leader as well as writing and recording his own material. Other current projects include teaching a full studio of aspiring guitarists. Shan has been a clinician at the Acadia University Jazz Band Camps and recently began as an instructor at the Nova Scotia Community College's new waterfront campus where they offer a music diploma. PRESS REVIEWS '...mastery of the instrument...a wonderful guitarist icon in the making...refreshing new writing...sophistication and grace.' - Edward Blanco, JazzReview.com 'An astonishingly gifted soloist, Arsenault makes his busy linearity sound effortless and naturalistic, as opposed to busy and congested...A strong release, mainstream guitar aficionados are going to find a wealth of pleasure in this artist's work.' - Troy Collins, Cadence Magazine 'Canada has given the Jazz Guitar Community some wonderful players over the years. Ed Bickert, Lorne Lofsky, ...and others, have all graced the musical landscape both domestically and internationally as popular representatives of great Jazz Guitar playing. Now a new name can be added to this illustrious list of Canadian Jazz Guitar talent: Shan Arsenault...Intense solos, sinuous technique, thoughtful comping, and well crafted catchy tunes speak volumes of Arsenault's sensibility as an improviser and composer...A style that is void of guitaristic clichés and improvisational formulas...what the art of improvisation is truly all about. - Lyle Robinson, Jazz Guitar Life '...Shan Arsenault on guitar shows off his facility and ideation in fine style...beautifully executed...(Arsenault) solos masterfully in his turn at bat...a hip addition to the jazzophiles collection.' 4 Stars - John Gilbert, eJazzNews.com 'Halifax guitarist Shan Arsenault is an original. His style of playing can only be compared to himself - which is the mark of someone who thinks jazz like poets think images or painters think hues.' - Stephen Pedersen, Halifax Chronicle Herald.