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Kiefer: Jazz As You’ve Never Seen It!

Technically impeccable, Kiefer has created tracks that beautifully mix mastery and flow for a decade and is now back with a new album.
Kiefer at the piano. Photo credit: Robb Klassen

The limbo between jazz and pop finds its groove in the notes and verses of Kiefer. Eclectic musician and composer Kiefer Shackelford, known as Kiefer, is an American pianist and producer. Born and raised in San Diego, he is now a guest of lively Los Angeles. Following his debut in 2017, the artist made a name for himself in the jazz environment after he entered the world of experimental pop through collaborations with artists the likes of Drake and Anderson .Paak. He even won a GRAMMY for his work with the latter. Technically impeccable, the artist has created tracks that excellently mix class, design and flow for almost a decade, and is now back with a new, full-length album.

Kiefer’s New Album: Something For Real 

Kiefer’s new creation is titled Something For Real, a name that intentionally interferes with the sense of magic his album radiates, thus ironically denying his magical abilities perceivable throughout the entirety of the record. Conscious of his unique and immense ability at engaging with the audience through an unmatched spark, Kiefer never misses a chance to show off his improvisation skills and perfectly crafted mastery, thus always creating a dreamy ambience for every unmissable event.

Something For Real Tracklist

  • 01 “Tubesocks”
  • 02 “Montara”
  • 03 “Introducing the Band”
  • 04 “Fast One”
  • 05 “Something For Real”
  • 06 “Saying Thank Yous”
  • 07 “Cute
  • 08 “Why Not?”
Kiefer at the piano making new music live
Kiefer at the piano. Photo credit: Robb Klassen

As the album debuts in our playlists, we think it’s a good idea to bring us all back to Kiefer’s 2023 triumphant NPR Tiny Desk concert, where the artist let his art flourish in a mix of organic collaboration, meticulous solos and the never failing ability to create a tangible atmosphere in which one cannot help but be enchanted and mesmerised.

Kiefer At His 2023 NPR Tiny Desk Concert

With the other two members of the Kiefer Trio—Luke Titus and Pera Krstajic—and with the surprise guest appearances by supremely talented friends Charlie Hunter, Nate Smith, CARRTOONS and Theo Croker, Kiefer played a set of four songs, two of which were from Something For Real. Also in the setlist were his old successes, “Superhero” from 2021’s Between Days and “Socially Awkward” from 2018’s Happysad.

His NPR Tiny Desk concert immediately received incredible praise and appreciation from the organisers, who are quoted saying:

“He plays with a sense of joy that I haven’t seen in a while and when his eyes connect with a fellow player, it’s as if he’s thanking them each time. With decades clocked behind the piano and a strong catalog, Kiefer Shackelford is primed for the moment.”

Take a look at Kiefer’s Tiny Desk performance for NPR.

Kiefer's Tiny Desk set
Kiefer’s Tiny Desk set. Credit: Photo: Elizabeth Gillis/NPR

Upcoming Tour

Kiefer recently completed two sold-out nights with his trio at the famed Blue Note NYC, and will soon tour Asia.

Asia Headline Tour Dates

  • 6/4 – Osaka, Japan / Billboard Live
  • 6/5 – Tokyo, Japan / Billboard Live
  • 6/6 – Seoul, S. Korea / West Bridge Live Hall
  • 6/8 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / Else
  • 6/12 – Taipei, Taiwan / The Wall Live House 

If you liked this article, you might also want to check out more about the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival!

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