James Sheppard is a versatile musician and teaching artist living on the upper east side of Manhattan. His performance career lies in a colorful mix of nightlife theater, renaissance/classical musics and indie rock. He has had the privilege of collaborating with some of NYC's most vibrant performers.
James has composed for Sasha Velour's shows Nightgowns, Smoke and Mirrors, One Dollar Drags and her cover of Weill and Brecht's Pirate Jenny from the Three Penny Opera. His collaborations with chanteuse Daphne Always resulted in a year long residency at Club Cumming, several shows at Joe's Pub and a Brooklyn Nightlife Award in 2018. In 2020 they released their album Daphne Always, Live From Joe's Pub. James also arranges and plays for NYC based queer pop rock outfit Matt Krenz & the Divine, who recently released their single I Hate Your Boyfriend in May 2022. His own songwriter pop project Casseo released two tracks in May 2021: Doldrums and Manipulator.
As a pianist and vocalist, James has performed in Carnegie's Weill and Zankel Recital Halls, The Rogers Auditorium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn's National Sawdust, Madison Square Garden, Irving Plaza, The Abrons Art Center, The NYU Skirball Center, The Brooklyn Bowl, The Laurie Beechman Theater and Bohemian National Hall.
As an educator, James is on faculty at the Diller-Quaile School of Music for their early childhood and instrumental vocal departments. Additionally, he has composed for the Living Arts Collaborative, where his original children's concert Help Us Compose a Song! traveled to over fifty school districts in the Adirondacks.
James graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a BM and MM in Classical Composition under the Jay Rubinton Scholarship.