(Piano - Jazz/Pop/R&B) Calgary, AB
Sheldon Zandboer

Sheldon Zandboer

(Piano - Jazz/Pop/R&B) Calgary, AB

originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, began his extensive classical piano training at the age of 4. He studied under esteemed instructors Gloria Saarinen, Charles Foreman, and Marilyn Engles for a total of 16 years. Sheldon comes from a musical family, with his father, Hank Zandboer, being a highly active professional musician. His father played a pivotal role in Sheldon’s musical development, providing him with valuable knowledge that surpassed his peers.

Sheldon’s exceptional talent was acknowledged when he won 1st Prize in the ‘Open Jazz’ category at the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival for three consecutive years, showcasing his abilities across all age groups. As a teenager, Sheldon solidified his musical reputation in Calgary by participating in live television shows alongside major broadcasters such as CBC and CFCN. He also garnered attention with his jazz trio performances.

To further his education and pursue a career in the Canadian music industry, Sheldon relocated to Toronto, which served as the hub of the country’s music scene. He embarked on a diverse range of performance opportunities, utilizing his skills in various settings including studios, casinos, circus performances, jazz clubs, festivals, theaters, dance clubs, cruise ships, and even rehearsing with the National Ballet. Sheldon’s professional freelancing work allowed him to showcase his talents in cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Atlantic City, London (UK), Paris, Athens, Amsterdam, Brussels, along with numerous other venues across Europe.

Performed for:

  • Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family in London, UK and Canada
  • 3 prime ministers since Brian Mulroney
  • Ex-mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani
  • Past 3 governor generals of Canada
  • NATO delegates in Brussels
  • Canadian Embassies and Consulates in the EU
  • Alan Greenspan
  • Dick Cheney
  • G8 Summit in Calgary, 2002

When artists and performers visit Calgary, Sheldon is frequently selected to collaborate and perform alongside them. He has had the privilege of playing with esteemed jazz musicians such as: Sam Noto, Guido Basso, PJ Perry, Campbell Ryga, Kirk McDonald, Del Dako, Bobby Shew, Lee Konitz, Ian McDougall, Hugh Fraser, Ralph Bowen, Adi Braun, Holly Cole, John Riley, Paul Wertico, Jodi Proznick, Kevin Breit, Mark Kelso, Ralph Bowen, Paul Christopher, Vern Dorge, George Koller, Madeleine Eastman, and Phil Nimmons. As well as pop artists: the late Michael Burgess (Le Miserables, Phantom of the Opera), and the Canadian Tenors.

Professional Musicals of note:

  • Bye Bye Birdie
  • Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Rough Crossing
  • Fame
  • Mama Mia
  • Falsetto’s
  • Leader of the Pack
  • Tarzan
  • Seussical
  • Wicked
  • Hairspray
  • Victor Victoria
  • Little Shop Of Horrors
  • Full Monty
  • Nightmare before Christmas
  • Dream Girls
  • Into The Woods
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • The Little Mermaid
  • High School Musical
  • Video Games Live
  • Oliver
  • Tommy

1979, Rehearsal Pianist/Keyboardist for the Calgary Stampede “Young Canadians” Grandstand Show [Calgary]

1979, Studied at Banff School of Fine Arts Summer School on full scholarship

1979-81, Performance/Composition Music Major at University of Calgary

1981, Keyboardist on CBC TV Special “Live at the HotSprings” [Columbia Valley]

1981-83, Student at Humber College for the Applied Arts Jazz Program [Toronto]

1982, Keyboardist at Canada’s Wonderland MainStage. [Toronto]

1984, Keyboardist for Paul Christopher at Bally’s Casino [Atlantic City]

1984/5, Keyboardist for the Garden Brothers Circus. [Toronto]

1987, Keyboardist/Assistant Director on the Greek cruise ships. MV Jupiter and MV Oceanos. [Mediterranean, Caribbean]

1988, Music Director for the first Decidedly Jazz Production of “Dancers & Other Musical Instruments”. [Calgary]

1989-94, Music Director/Arranger/Keyboardist/Singer of “the Soul Providers” that performed as the house band at the renowned Cannery Row. [Calgary]

1989-97, Arranger/Keyboardist/Singer with Department of National Defense. [Calgary/Winnipeg]

1995, Percussionist at the International Tattoo in Earls Court Stadium [London England]

1996, Keyboardist on the Mirvish Production of the Who’s “Tommy” Canadian Tour. [Toronto]

1998, Creator/Music Director of funkband- “YoMoZo”. The band provided the music for the “Eddies” award show less than 3 months after it was formed. [Calgary]

Co-composer with Dewi Wood for the music for the movie “Bellyboat Hustle”. The movie debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and it is a frequently aired film on BRAVO Channel. The movie was then forwarded over to the “Dance on Camera Festival 1998” at the Lincoln Center, NY. The movie was such a hit that it became the flagship Dance/Art movie for the festival. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in Manhattan has been showing the movie as an art exhibit film in their permanent collection ever since. [Calgary/Toronto/New York City]

1999-2015,  Jazz Piano/Arranging/Ensemble Instructor on the Faculty of Jazz at Mount Royal University. [Calgary]

2002-2003, Audio designer and Music Programmer/Composer at web design company Critical Mass for clients such as: Mercedes Benz, Dell, Disney Resorts, NASA, Kaiser Permanente, Albertsons, Las Vegas tourist bureau. [Calgary]

2004-2007, Tim Tamashiro (CBC‘s ex-host of “Tonic”) combine forces to form “PianoVox” – a music/improv/comedy act that performed across Canada, from Vancouver Island to Toronto and are still active performing together.

2005/2006, Music Director/Arranger for the only two years “One Yellow Rabbit” theatre co. had a live orchestra to host the Big Rock Eddies. [Calgary]

2010, Keyboardist at the Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympic Villages entertaining the athletes.

Arranger/Composer Nominated for an Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association award for best live soundtrack for “Spring Swing Fling” written and directed by Sandra Sawatski. It’s a dance film which features performances by many of Calgary’s best jazz musicians and has been selected to show at the 38th Dance on Camera Festival at the Lincoln Centre in New York. Dewi Wood produced, mixed and worked on sound design. [Calgary]

2011-Now, Pianist for the Decidedly Jazz Dance Studio’s Parkinson Program. An ongoing research program that studies the effects and benefits of music for Parkinsons patients. [Calgary]

2014, Published jazz pedagogy book the Tao of Jazz Improvisation

2015/16, Resident Electronica Musician performing live electronic dance music at RUSH night club with Kymara and Johanna Sillanpaa. [Calgary]

2017, Opened with Tommy Banks for David Foster. [Calgary]

2017, Recorded first solo album Tipping Velvet containing all original compositions. [Calgary]

2018, Released Tipping Velvet on Chronograph Records label. Streaming on Spotify and Apple Music. [Calgary]

2016-19, Vocal Coach/Music Director at Central Memorial High School of Arts. [Calgary]

At this time Sheldon is a Professional Freelance Musician as well as the senior Jazz Piano Instructor at the Mount Royal University Conservatory and Morin Music Studios. His instructional jazz book the Tao of Jazz Improvisation continues to sell hundreds of copies a month on Amazon.com/.ca. The City of Calgary has recognized and listed Sheldon Zandboer as one of Calgary’s preeminent artists on their official tourism website as well as one of the top 10 music studios in the city.

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