Joe Shepley is a trumpet player living and working in New York. This site is a place for him to share his thoughts on music, life, the music business, and brass wind technique and equipment…as well as performance videos from his career.

We hope you’ll come back often as the site develops to enjoy Joe’s life and work, and to share your own experiences as a performer or music lover!

18 thoughts on “About

  1. I am Joe Shepley’s grandson. I have a BA in English and work as a paralegal in a law firm in Manhattan, NY. I have witnessed firsthand the tireless dedication my grandfather has devoted to music and it has always inspired me. He is by far the most selfless man I have ever known and has always strived to help others. His mouthpiece is not only his legacy, but his gift to music. The design’s utility is in its simplicity, a quality which always defines a great idea. Anyone with an appreciation for music should revel in the quality of sound created by the design – especially those who play. It is only my wish to advocate and help ensure that his legacy, and love for music, continues to inspire and improve others.

    1. Joe or family?
      hey Joe or helen or maryellen, this is Janice Chester, Gary Chester (the drummers) widow. I’m using my daughter’s computer, looking you up, started thinking about old times and just decided to see if I could reach one of you. I’m visiting her in LA. hope I have the right family? I am going back to NY tomorrow, so if you get this, please let my daughter know. her name is katrina chester and although she was a singer at one time, she is now an eastern philosophy teacher.please get back to her, if possible. I just found our marriage certificate with you and helen’s name as the witness! wow! Lots of love, Jan

      1. Katrina,

        This is Joe’s son, Joe – sorry for the slow response. My wife and I just had our fourth child, so haven’t been as good about checking the web site as I should! 🙂

        Send me an email with your contact info, and I will pass on to my mom and dad: jshepley@att.net. I know they’ll be excited to hear from you!



  2. My name is Saral Opera – I’m a trumpet player and I’ve been extremely fortunate to know Joe Shepley since the mid 70’s. I cannot tell you how many times he has helped and inspired me in the trumpet world, and I’m still getting that inspiration and encouragement from him, to this very day. I have known him as “Satyavan”, which is a spiritual name given to him by our spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy. Satyavan means “the embodiment of Truth”. This is a perfect name for him, since as long as I have known him, he has never compromised with truth. Joe has expressed truth throughout all these years, by his love of music, his love of God, his service to the world. Really the music world and the world itself are better because of him. Brandon has rightly said that his mouthpiece is his legacy, his gift to music. Not only that, the countless people who he has inspired over the years, myself included, will carry on and try to share what we have with the world, as he has so selflessly done. I am also greatly looking forward to the 5-in-1 mute Joe just told me about. Sounds like a great thing to take on the road!

    1. Otto,

      Thanks for your interest in my father’s mouthpiece!

      This site will eventually be a way to get the word out, but for now the best way is to contact him directly. I found you on LinkedIn, so I’ll connect with you there and share his contact information.


      The Other Joe Shepley

      1. Dear Other:

        Hi. Actually, stumbled across this website. Knew Joe from Carmine. Also, Joe was a GREAT mentor to my Berklee classmate, Bobby Fortunato (Woody Herman, et al). I’ve always wondered whatever happened to Bobby. Would Joe know?

        Joe and Burt were TOO much!! All-time GREATS in my (Face) book!

        Nick Mondello

  3. I’m Ed Pollak and my twin brother & I took lessons from Joe Shepley in Yonkers in the late ’50s-early ’60s. I gave up trumpet in college but at age 40 I taught myself to play fiddle. I am two-time Delaware state fiddle champion and I give at least some of the credit to Joe for his instruction in the basic theory that has ben of so much help to me as a bluegrass musician. If interested, see http://home.comcast.net/~epollak/ for more details on my life.


  4. dear Mr.Sheply.You dont know me but I feel like I know you. Through a fellow music lover by the name of Jack Smith ,Many stories and music appreication later I now listen to BGO in a different way I bring sad news of Jack’s passing on the 19th of JANUARY 2012 ..iTs a sad time indeed he loved jazz and all music He is now playing his brushes with the big men God bless us all for knowing him. Please play Tenderly db piela

  5. Wow Joe Shepley. Searched the universe and ended here. Amazing what filters through the web. It’s been many years, many changes; up times and down times and here we are. Together again, in this space, on WordPress. Funny how things come full circle. A lotta love mentioned above, from admirers and people who know you intimately. Lotta love. And so we come to the next phase of our spiritual journey, letting bygones be bygones and all that stuff. If only we knew back then, when the ‘songs of our souls’ fulfilled a dream. How important that seemed at the time and how satisfying it is now, to know what was accomplished. It seems like a dream to me, an yet when I listen to that past I fill bliss. Wow Joe Shepley. Good to see you again.

  6. Diggin’ on a Collins/Shepley Galaxy album as we speak. Lennon/McCartney Live lp. Putting me in such a nice place, and of course the playing is superb. Just looking for a good photo of your dad – hard to find on the net! I’m a jazz dj in FL (WFCF) – if you got one or two that I could use to promote him on the blog or FB page – please send along. jazzploration@gmail.com

    1. Kenny,

      Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation and for the kind words about my dad–I appreciate it!

      I’ll give him a call and see if I can find some digital photos of him to share with you so you can promote him…that would be fantastic of you to do!

      I hope this finds you well and enjoying life…



  7. Joe gave me lessons in the 60s I still play today he also turned me onto Pete paguardia by the way joe and I are second cousins

  8. seems to be nowhere to reply privately for me to give you my mothers phone numbers for your dad and mom to ring her….maybe can you ask your dad and mom to email me theirs and Ill have my mom ring them! congrats on your baby and thank you so much for getting back to us. My mom is over the moon!!! xKatrina Chester

  9. Hello Joe,
    This is Carl Cohen, now Carl Collier, from the marching band at H Company, 364th Infantry Regiment at Ft. Dix, in 1952-1953 (basic training)… I also played trumpet with you, but not as well as you.
    I remember Capt Willard Walsh calling on you in one our classrooms, to play “Tenderly”.
    I’m now a retired lawyer living in Boca Raton and would love to hear from you and reminisce.



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