E. Shawn Qaissaunee and Jim Ridl

Boardwalk Waltz (Hafgan Music)

Berklee College of Music Alumnus (Jazz Composition/Music Education) E. Shawn Qaissaunee has been in demand as a multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger and music instructor for over thirty years. Sought out for his talents on guitar, bass, piano, percussion and the rubab and dutar, two instruments from his native Afghanistan, Shawn is known for his musical virtuosity, sensitivity, lyricism and spirited creative energy in the jazz tradition. His constant devotion to musical traditions, while at the same time striving to bring new energy and relevance to his live performances has made him a beloved and admired artist in the greater community and beyond.

Jim Ridl, a New York City-based jazz pianist, composer and teacher, performs and records worldwide with a variety of jazz artists, including The Joe Locke Quartet, The Paul Jost Quartet, and The Dave Liebman Big Band. His own groups perform regularly at the renowned 55 Bar in NYC, and at Brooklyn’s Soapbox Gallery, both venues for creative and original jazz. Jim has 9 recordings of his own, including Ask for the Ancient Path (May 2022), and Standards Live (August 2022), and he has been featured on hundreds of recordings of other artists. Jim is on the faculty at New York Jazz Workshop and The City College of New York, and maintains an active private studio.
Jim was raised on a farm and ranch in North Dakota, and discovered his love for piano and jazz at an early age. He attended the University of Colorado at Denver, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Scoring and Arranging, and was awarded its Student Achievement Award for composing “Ocean Sojourn,” an orchestral tone poem which he performed with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. In Denver, Jim began his professional career performing and touring with local and nationally-recognized musicians, including the Grammy-nominated vocal jazz group, Rare Silk.

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