Flip Shoemaker

Flip was born in Kansas City, MO. He started studying piano at age four at the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City. At age ten he started the guitar and added the trombone at age twelve. The trombone was his instrument in orchestra, concert and marching bands, and he got superior ratings with it in solo and ensemble work.
Flip attended Kansas University on scholarship where he studied all aspects of classical music. He performed with the orchestra, the concert and marching bands, the brass choir and the trombone choir as well as doing solo concerts. He finished with a Bachelor's degree in music education.
On leaving Kansas University, Flip joined the US Army and auditioned for the 371st Army Band. After completing Basic Training he was sent to the US Army/Navy School of Music, completing the six-month course in three months and having private instruction with Tom Irwin. He was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the concert and stage bands, did some marching, and played a million gigs as an Army musician on trombone, baritone horn, tuba, guitar and bass.
After the Army he headed for Florida where he worked for eighteen years as a professional musician. He was part of the house band at the Tierra Verde Resort where he performed with Billy Eckstine, Clint Holmes, Frankie Laine, Trini Lopez, Liza Minelli, Patti Page, Bernadette Peters, and Mel Torme.
In the interim, Flip did graduate studies at the University of South Florida, studying improvisation, composition, theory, and recording techniques and taking private lessons with Art Woodberry and Charlie Encinosa. Later he studied with Howard Roberts and did a series of lessons with Joe Pass.
Flip played on René Croan's (now René Marie) Grammy-nominated CD Renaissance in 1999, and has also recorded with Mel Torme. He is featured on records with Fantasy and with Riverside. He has performed at the Clearwater Jazz Festival with Vintage Brass and has done concerts with Ramsey Lewis, Desi Arnez, Nat Adderly, Eartha Kit, and John Davidson. He played a regular Monday Night gig for a while with Ira Sullavan.
Flip has conducted improvisation clinics at Hillsborough Jr. College and Radford University. He has also assisted Dr. David Baker with clinics at the University of Tennesee and with Roy Haynes at Radford University. He recorded the CD to accompany Burt Numeyer's Guitar method book and has been giving private music instruction for over 30 years. But his primary work is as a free-lance jazz guitarist and bassist.