John Philip Shenale

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John Philip Shenale
Birth name John Philip Shenale
Occupation(s) Musician, instrumentalist, arranger, songwriter, record producer
Associated acts Tori Amos, Willy DeVille, Janes Addiction, Tracy Chapman, The Beach Boys, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Howie Day, Jesse McCartney, Billy Idol, Rick Springfield, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, John Hiatt
Website [1]

John Philip Shenale (born John Philip Shenale; 1951) is a Canadian composer, arranger, musician and producer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed his talents to over forty Gold and Platinum albums, and over thirty Top 40 singles. His work has also been associated with twenty-one Grammy Award nominations.


Shenale was born in Canada in 1951. His family relocated to the United States in the late-1950s. His earliest memories of music consist of hearing his father, an avid lover of classical music, play the violin, cello and mandolin in their home during his childhood. After attending a Latin High Mass at the age of five, he recalls being drawn to the piano in an attempt to recreate the music he had heard during the ceremony. The experience awakened his passion for the art and he soon found himself improvising his own music. It wasn't until the age of twelve, however, that he began formal piano lessons.

Shenale began serious composition while in high school, drawing inspiration from classical composers such as Ravel, Granados, Britten and Stravinsky. He soon discovered modern-day musicians such as The Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles which ignited his passion for rock and roll, leading him to form his first band. During his undergraduate studies, he first majored in physics and then music before dropping out in favor of playing and travelling with a hard rock club band.

Although he considers himself "a performance rock 'n' roll musician based in classical music," Shenale acknowledges that technology is a major aspect that runs throughout the majority of his work and is equally at home with both acoustic and electronic instruments and processes. [1]

Early work[edit]

Shenale's early work began in film, a medium he would subsequently revisit throughout his career, with 1971's The Young Graduates. Continuing throughout the 1970s he recorded and performed live with artists such as Gregory Hines, Redbone, Jon Lucien, Bobby Womack and Severance. However, he considers his collaborations, specifically during the latter part of the decade, with artists such as Jim Keltner and The Beach Boys to be of particular value and significance, affording him a considerable amount of time in-studio where he was given the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and to learn the language and various philosophies behind recording professionally.

Shenale's instruments of choice during this time included the Hammond, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Orchestron, Mellotron and Leslie Cabinet, along with various other synthesizers.

Career in popular music[edit]

Shenale's work has been featured on albums by artists such as Tori Amos, Willy DeVille, Jane's Addiction, Tracy Chapman, Billy Idol, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, The Bangles, Dionne Warwick, Rick Springfield, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and John Hiatt.

Career in film, theater, and other works[edit]

Shenale's work has also been featured on films and musicals by director's such as Curtis Hanson, John Hughes, Carl Reiner, Herbert Ross, Walter Hill, Richard Lester, Brian Yuzna, Steve Miner, Paul Verhoeven, Frank Oz, Marianne Elliott.

Personal life[edit]


  1. ^ Droney, Maureen (April 1, 2002). "Profile". California, USA:  External link in |publisher= (help);

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