' Blues music, Gospel, Jazz, Spirituals, Soul and R&B are all branches of the same river. The river runs deep. When we drink from one we drink from all.' Guitarist, composer, and recording artist Ted Shumate was born in Meridian, Mississippi. His earliest musical experiences were the gospel music of the Southern Baptist Church and native Delta Blues. 'I was born in Mississippi in the hospital but my family lived out in the country. We lived over a country store that my grandfather owned. As was the custom of the Deep South in the early 1950's all families had Black 'Nannies' that watched the children for working families. My parents were school teachers so my early child care was with the singing of rural blues, spirituals, work songs, field chants and church songs. Two years later we moved to the Mississippi Delta to a town called Greenville with a new Nanny and lived there for two years.' 'You have to understand there was a whole lot of music going on all the time. Both my grandmother and step-grandmother were church pianist. My step-granmother was the pianist at a rural Church of God and she taught me Amazing Grace on the piano when I was four. There were field hands singing work songs and gospel music was everywhere! And my nannies (Gent, Helen, and Asalee) were dear sweet loving people and sang to me all the time! On top of that my Mom played piano and was a Jazz fan, playing Miles Davis on the record player!' In 1957 Ted's family moved to the musically rich state of Florida. The great migration of Cubans, South Americans, and other Caribbean nationals in the early 60's brought a wide variety of experiences to the young musician to absorb, and would later help shape his musical personality. ' Living in Florida in the late 1950's was the coolest...we lived on an island off St. Petersburg called Coquina Key. Florida at that time was very unpopulated and was literally a tropical paradise. My best friend down the street, Charlie Bailey (who would become a blues guitar legend in Florida), had moved with his family from Memphis. We would play our guitars in our laps and play with our thumbs 'Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley'. ' During the time Ted lived in Florida, he attended elementary school, high school, and college. He graduated (with honors) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies and Music Composition from Eckerd College. Ted moved to Los Angeles, California in 1980 to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology. Upon his graduation, he was hired as an instructor at G.I.T. while also playing and recording in the Los Angeles area. In 1983 Ted was hired as a full-time bandleader/guitarist at the Hurricane in Passagrille, Florida. After a successful five-year stint at the Hurricane, Ted left to do numerous festivals and international tours when his 1987 release, 'Gulfstream' (Pausa Records) with Ira Sullivan made the top 10 jazz/blues charts in the U.S.A. and abroad. Some of the noted musicians that Ted has played and/or recorded with are: Lucky Peterson, Nat Adderley, Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Drew Jr., Joey Barron, Peter Erskine, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Larry Willis, Al DiMeola, Walter Booker, Kenny Werner, Gary Dial, Gumbi Ortiz, Jerry Fuller, Longineu Parsons, Wynton Marsalis and many others. Ted has written a guitar instructional book titled 'Chord Concepts,' a guitar instructional manual (distributed by Hal Leonard Publications), that is used in colleges and universities worldwide. Ted has recorded 6 CDs under his own name, his most recent being 'A Different Shade of Blue.' He has played on countless other CDs by numerous artists in the U.S.A. and abroad. Ted continues to record and tour in the US and abroad at major festivals and clubs.