Musician-composer-arranger David Shapireau has worked with many well-known artists throughout a long career in the music business. Live performances, recording sessions, dance companies, musical theatre, television, and symphonies have all benefited from his skill as a player of fretted string instruments and his scores ranging from folk and country to R & B, swing, be-bop and big band jazz charts. With his new band, West of Next, he has taken the forefront as composer-leader.
Shapireau first made his mark as arranger and guitarist for the Norton Buffalo Stampede, a S.F. Bay Area band that had two successful albums on Capitol Records and toured the country in the mid-1970s. In the 1980s and ’90s, Shapireau frequently worked at the Plant Studios in Sausalito with engineer Leslie Ann Jones, now the director of music at Marin’s Skywalker Sound, the music recording division of George Lucas’ film empire. Shapireau also worked with Jerry Garcia and Merle Saunders on music for the ’80s revival of the classic TV series “The Twilight Zone.” At the Plant, Shapireau arranged for and recorded with many iconic artists, including Mill Valley producer and hitmaker Scott Matthews; Maria Muldaur; David Grisman, David Nelson, an original member of the still-going-strong New Riders of the Purple Sage; acoustic-guitar legend Tony Rice; Peter Rowan, and members of Tower of Power. He has arranged music for Taj Mahal, and was creative advisor for the last record the bluegrass banjo legend Don Reno made, with the Reno Brothers, Byron Berline on fiddle, and Shapireau on guitar for several cuts. He played in one of Bela Fleck’s earliest bands Tasty Licks while in Boston.
Shapireau was the house arranger and creative advisor for the Sausalito-based label Suspex Records; for many years recording albums with San Francisco Bay Area luminaries. His arranging and instrumental abilities on those decade's worth of recordings speak for themselves. Movie themes, big band jazz, bluegrass Beethoven, classical harp, R&B horns, mariachi trumpet, tangos, string writing, Sinatra reworked as jazz blues, and far more.
West of Next is a new band from Sacramento playing compositions by the leader inspired by the great American regional genres. Western swing, blues, zydeco, honky tonk, spooky Appalachian ballads, waltzes, mambos, surf music, Celtic strains, and the like are all presented in arrangements from a jazz musician’s point of view featuring the twin-guitar tradition of Bob Wills, Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant, and the Allman Brothers.