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Formative years

Shane started to play the ukulele at the age of 8 and came from a musical family. His father and aunty ran a rock band that supported Adam Faith, Joe Brown Richie Valence, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and many more in the early 60’s. There was always a guitar in the house to be picked up and played.

Switching to the guitar at the age of 12 Shane received his first lessons from his father and brother who was a budding songwriter - always jamming with various school friends. His Interest in jazz was initially fostered by local guitarists Brian Gibbs and Brian Barnard. Later Shane was fortunate to meet and be tutored by a former CBS Fender guitar company demonstrator Peter Dyke - who many years earlier - had worked with and encouraged an 18 year old John McLauglin. Peter introduced Shane to Ike Issacs and Ernie Cranenburgh - who both offered further inspiration - particularly with their masterful command of chords.

Shane’s other studies included classical guitar tuition from Denis Duffell and music theory with pianist composer Peter Jennings. He also had musicianship and ear - training lessons from a local singing scholar called Joyce Hooper, who conducted The Reigate Bach Choir. Jazz orchestra training was initially fostered by London session guitarist and teacher Andre Emond. Shane also joined The Surrey Youth Jazz Orchestra - run by ex Ken Mack Band lead alto player Dave Emmott. The music arranger John Farley - who had been hired by the likes of Sid Lawrence, Herb Miller and Joe Loss was also a major influence as a tutor of the orchestra. Other members of the band included Pete Long, who has gone on to work with The Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, bass supremo Phil Mulford and the now leading UK jazz pianist composer Janette Mason. This period spawned many gigs for Shane with some of the best young musicians in the UK. He also played with jazz violin master Mike Piggot in a jazz / funk outfit that supported the Breakfast Band.

Education

Shane went on to study at Leeds College Of Music and graduated with a first Class Diploma. Whilst at Leeds he studied with the renowned guitarist author Adrian Ingram and classical guitar scholar and Segovia biographer Graham Wade. Trevor Owen and Andy Watson were also lecturers that offered guidance. Shane represented the college in master classes- performing to George Van Eps, Martin Taylor and Barney Kessell. Kessel had performed with Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker among others - so this was a very special privilege to be chosen to play solo to him. Shane in his final year researched a book about the legendary jazz guitarist Tal Farlow and was fortunate to perform and study with the master. Farlow remained both a mentor and close friend - until his death In 1998. The book brought Shane to the attention of George Shearing's band guitarist Louis Stewart, Jim Mullen and US guitar virtuoso Larry Coryell. He would later meet and trade licks with the renowned players and receive encouragement and some tuition from them. In the words of Louis Stewart former guitarist for Benny Goodman, George Shearing and Ronnie Scott. “Shane plays with sensitivity, sophistication and maturity”.

Shane playing to
George Van Eps
in a masterclass

Shane with
Louis Stewart
play an early
50s Gibson 175