Chip Shelton is a multi-instrumentalist who performs CELEBRATORY, FEEL-GOOD JAZZ on flutes, reeds, vocals, percussion, and more. He attended the Manhattan School of Music as a jazz flute major while studying classically with Julius Baker (aka “dean of American flutists”). With 11 critically acclaimed recordings, he tours internationally while based in the New York City area.
Sheltonʼs music focuses on meaningful life themes infused with a personal and tender quality. His 2020 CD release (#9 of 11) “Plan Be Dream Music”, sparked by his own life story, balancing 2 careers as professional musician and orthodontist (Ret.) is accompanied by his 1st book, “Excel in Two Careers…Plan Be™ Your Dream”.
He has collaborated with top musicians like Ron Carter, Roy Ayers, Donny Hathaway, Peter Bernstein, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Joe Lee Wilson, Jim Walker, Mala Waldron, Craig Holiday Haynes, Antonio Hart, Greg Murphy, Mark Gross, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Roy Meriwether, Doug Carn, Ryo Kawasaki, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Ernie Wilkins, Irene Reid,..
3 PERFORMANCE FORMATS
1. The Flute Party Band (FPB), “Where Art & Fun are One”, was debuted by Shelton in 2019. FPB features toe-tapping CELEBRATORY, FEEL-GOOD JAZZ for listening, dancing, and romancing played by multiple flute luminaries, full rhythm section, vocalist(s). and dancer(s). Along with the string bassist, Shelton’s immense contrabass flute and enormous sub-contrabass flute handle the low end.
FPB is a multi-generational, pan-ethnic ensemble that performs large-capacity venues and events. It expands or contracts as required by the occasion. The traveling band typically includes 5 male and 5 female musicians plus 1-2 audio- visual technician(s).
2. The NY Jazz Flutet (NYJF) is the NY area’s premier multi-flute small ensemble performing CELEBRATORY, FEEL-GOOD chamber jazz. It consists of 4 flutists playing a variety of flutes, plus percussionist. Shelton handles the low end on the immense contrabass flute.
NYJF performs jazz venues, churches, weddings, a variety of special events; and expands or contracts as the occasion requires.
These type multi-flute jazz ensembles were pioneered by Shelton in the early 1990’s as the world’s first jazz flute big band. He featured 10 top flutists, 5 rhythm, male & female vocalists in his “World Flute Choir”. Later, renamed “The World Flute Orchestra”, the band performed NYC area venues like St Peter’s (“the jazz church”), The Five Spot, Sunset Family Jazz Festival, & Zanzibar.
3. The Chip Shelton Peace Time Ensemble performs CELEBRATORY, FEEL-GOOD post-bop jazz and world beat; originals and standards; occasional vocals by Shelton; and frequent guest artists.
The core group is a trio of organ, drums, and sax/ flute/vocal/ percussion by Shelton. The ensemble expands as events, venues, festivals, and budgets require.
“Special Days Each Year” on CCM Records in 2021, delivers 15 seasonal originals by Shelton, including “Birthday Love”, “MLK”, “A Snow Day”, “Spring Break”, “Mothers Day Gratitude”, “Juneteenth”, “Mandela Day”, “Election Days”, “Have a Happy Thanksgiving”, “Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) is My Time of Year”, and more.
“Plan Be™ Dream Music”on CCM Records in 2020 spotlights nine Shelton originals and synchronizes with the release of his 1st book, “Excel in 2 Careers…Plan Be™ Your Dream”. The CD and book resonate an inspiring force for creatives pursuing their life’s dream(s).
“Mentors” on CCM Records in 2020 pays homage to Shelton’s music mentors past & present, singling out Jimmy Heath’s “Heritage Hum” & “Angel Man”; Frank Foster’s “Simone”; Frank Wess’ “Half Moon Street”; plus 5 Shelton originals; and, his vocal flavorings on Willie Dixon’s “I Love the Life I Live” & Richie Cole’s “DC Farewell”
“Imbued With Memories”, Summit Records in 2008 was Grammy-ranked.
“Have Flute Will Travel- Stop 2, Cape May Jazz Festival“, featuring Doug Carn, on Summit Records.
“Peacetime”, featuring Roy Meriwether, on Summit Records.
“Have Flute Will Travel, Stop 1-Berlin”, on Summit Records,
“Flute Bass-ics”, featuring Ron Carter, on Summit Records,
“More What Flutes 4”, featuring Ryo Kawasaki and Roy Meriwether, on Satellites Records, recorded live at Birdland, NYC
“3 Flutes Up”, featuring Onaje Allan Gumbs and Ryo Kawasaki, on Satellites Records
“A Labor of Love”, featuring Onaje Allan Gumbs and Ryo Kawasaki, on RUP Records, recorded live at The Five Spot, NYC
“Passion and Purpose”, Spirit of Life Ensemble, RUP Records
“Don’t Follow The Cat”, Nabiyah Be (Jimmy Cliﬀ’s daughter), a digitally-released video (prior to her Broadway and feature film/ Black Panther breakthroughs)
“Moments In Time”, Spirit of Life Ensemble, RUP Records
“Flame of Wishing Star”, Okaru Hoshino-Lovelace, on Lovelace Jazz
Summit Records 2006 Jazz & Classical Collection
Summit Records 2005 Jazz & Classical Collection
“More Than Red”, Paul Serrato, Graﬃti Records
“Neon Palm Tree”, Paul Serrato, Graﬃti Records
“Feel The Spirit”, Spirit of Life Ensemble, RUP Records
“Sakura, Home of My Heart”, Okaru Hoshino Lovelace, on Lovelace Jazz Music
Chip Shelton is a multi-instrumentalist on rarely heard instruments including end-blown flute; antique tenor & soprano saxophones in key of C; sopranino saxophone in Eb; Bb flute d’amore; Eb flute; bass, contrabass, & sub contrabass flutes; plus, most of the related ‘conventional’ woodwinds.
Chip Shelton pioneered the first known jazz flute big band in the early1990’s featuring many of the NY area’s top flutists. An even more festive version of this concept re-emerged in 2019 as The Flute Party Band.
Shelton performances and recordings consistently have his identifiable touch, mined from his nearly-100 compositions and arrangements.
“Plan Be Dream Music” (2020), for example, features 9 Shelton original compositions and arrangements; and “Special Days Each Year” (2021) features 15 Shelton originals.
Audience-particpatory Performance-Workshops that deliver relevant music-related and career-planning topics, including (but not limited to):
“Plan B or No Plan Be” gives creative-minded participants of all disciplines, age 12 through adult, a unique look at career- planning alternatives, based on the Shelton book “Excel In Two Careers…‘Plan Be’™ Your Dream”. This workshop debuted at the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), Northeast Regional Convention in 2014.
At workshop’s conclusion, following Q&A, attendees join in a performance of some original, workshop-related music by Shelton.
“Improvisation 101 /201”, first presented at the NY Flute Club/ Annual Flute Fair at Columbia U. in 2018, shares little-known improvising techniques centered around recent brain wave studies. Thought processes and techniques shared here advance the skills, not only of instrumentalists new-to-improvising, but also those with experience.
At the conclusion, following Q&A, volunteers get to show oﬀ their new skills, participating in a “jam session”, fully-structured by the presenter.
“Help! How to Play Alto & Bass (flutes) Without Pain” was first presented at the 47th Annual Convention, National Flute Association (NFA) in 2019. Shelton shares prevention and self- maintenance insights into many types of painful “overuse”syndromes frequently experienced, not only by flutists, but instrumentalists of all types.
Following Q&A, the audience participates in a sing-along to “I Got Rhythm” using workshop-related (projected) lyrics. Time permitting, attendees are invited to join in for a “jam session”, fully-structured by the presenter.
Chip Shelton is a lifelong musician, a board certified orthodontist (Ret.), an orthodontic educator, a longtime board member of the National Flute Association (NFA) Performance Health Care Committee, and a NY Flute Club Board Member.
He is regularly called upon to present Performance-Workshops, appear on educational panels, and perform feature concerts.
In August, 2019 Shelton appeared on 2 panels, presented the performance workshop above, and won a competition-award playing piccolo, bass and contrabass flutes at the 47th Annual NFA Convention, Salt Lake City, UT.