George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Congratulations to Mason Professor Shawn Purcell on his recent CD release

October 2, 2019

Shawn Purcell Mason music professor

Jazz musician and Mason music professor, Shawn Purcell

I can't find the words that convey the feelings that emerge from the presence of a great player. It happens once in a while and now is one of those times. Shawn Purcell has 'laid it down' with Symmetricity, a great album! Bravo my friend!

Guitar legend, Pat Martino

Shawn Purcell, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a jazz guitarist, educator, arranger, and composer in the Washington DC region. Symmetricity, Purcell’s first recording as a leader, released on Dallas-based Armored Records, features nine original compositions and one standard. Featuring a dynamic group of world-class musicians, including two other Mason professors, Darden Purcell and Regan BroughSymmetricity showcases Purcell’s fluid guitar technique and “take no prisoners” approach to improvisation. He is largely influenced by Pat Martino, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Grant Green, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Pat Metheny and Peter Bernstein. Purcell’s finely-honed compositional style on Symmetricity blends straight ahead jazz with a more modern aesthetic.

Purcell has shared the stage, recorded with, and/or toured with top jazz artists including: Terell Stafford, Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield, Sean Jones, Brian Charette, Steve Fidyk, Dana Hall, The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, The Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Jim Pugh, Chip McNeill, Jeannie Bryson, Eddie Daniels, Chris Potter, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Allee and many others. He has performed at jazz clubs and festivals throughout the nation including: Blues Alley, Smalls, The Jazz Kitchen, The Blue Wisp, The Jazz Factory, Club Bonafide, IAJE, JEN, PASIC, and Indy Jazz Fest.

Recenty activity:

  • Shawn Purcell has a studio of 12+ guitarists, both undergraduate and graduate and has attracted students from the DC metropolitan area, and nation-wide. 
  • Wanting to showcase his guitarists in professional level performances, Shawn continues to book performances off campus for his students. Winter 2019, Shawn and several guitarists performed with Jazz faculty, Regan Brough (bass) and Harold Summey (drums) at the Old Town Fairfax Hall concert series to a packed house.  
  • In October, the Mason Jazz Guitar Night is booked at Epicure Cafe. This premier event will feature guitarists from his studio, each performing solo sets with Jazz faculty, Regan Brough (bass) and Kevin McDonald (drums) as well as alumni guests.  
  • Shawn was instrumental in booking New York based guitarist, Peter Bernstein for a master class at Mason, October 2017, took his students to see Peter perform and included recent graduate Connor Holdridge in a Facebook Live master class he presented on the Peter Bernstein Study Group page.
  • Another of Shawn's graduates, Marcelo Carrion, recently won a job with the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet Band in Naples, Italy. Through this assignment, he has had some amazing experiences, traveling to four countries and through televised embassy gigs reaching a total of three million people with his performances.

Dr. Shawn Purcell's full bio

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