Shan Arsenault, jazz guitarist, composer and educator was born in Prince Edward Island and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Inspired by his mother’s playing, he took up the guitar at age seven. Mostly self-taught, Shan has spent many years cultivating a unique sound.
Over his long career, Shan has performed as a sideman with countless musicians; earning the reputation of a first-call player. Among the many artists he has performed with are Jeff Healy, Doug Mallory, Doug Riley, Jerry Granelli, Terry Hattie, Alfie Zappacosta, Dutch Mason, Kirk MacDonald, Lorn Lofsky, Skip Beckwith, Don Palmer, Chris Mitchell, Joe Sealy, Francois Houle, Han Bennink and the Paul Cram Sextet.
Shan has toured throughout Canada and the US and performed in many of Canada’s Jazz Festivals, including the prestigious Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1995. IN 1997, Shan was nominated for an ECMA for his CBC recording, The Spin, in the category of “Best Jazz Artist.”
More recently, Shan is committed to performing as a band leader as well as writing and recording his own material. Shan’s latest recording The Jazz Beat Sessions is a compilation of two previously aired sessions for the nationally broadcast CBC program Jazz Beat. The CD includes seven of Shan’s original compositions as well as two standards. Shan is backed up solidly by Jamie Gatti on bass and Tom Roach & Dave Burton on drums. The Jazz Beat Sessions was released in June, 2005 to much critical acclaim and has charted on many Canadian radio stations. During Nova Scotia Music Week, Shan was awarded Jazz/Blues Artist/Group Recording of the Year by the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia (MIANS). The CD is presently being promoted nationally and internationally.
Other current projects include playing with the Paul Cram Sextet and teaching a full studio of aspiring guitarists.
Shan’s latest recording is entitled Below Sea Level.