Shan Arsenault

Shan Arsenault

 Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAN

Shan Arsenault's jazz guitar playing and composing is original and refreshing. He has received critical acclaim as "a wonderful guitarist icon in the making." Shan has released 2 full-length CDs to date; "The Jazz Beat Sessions (2005) and "Below Sea Level" (2008).


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 side man 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 (Dr. Music) Riley, Jerry Granelli, Terry Hattie, Alfie Zappacosta, Dutch Mason, Kirk MacDonald, Lorne Lofsky, Skip Beckwith, Don Palmer, Chris Mitchell, Joe Sealy, Francois Houle, Han Bennink and the Paul Cram Sextet. He has toured throughout Canada and the U.S. and performed in many of Canada's Jazz Festivals, including the prestigious Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 1997 Shan was nominated for an ECMA in the category of "Best Jazz Artist." Shan received a Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia (MIANS) award for Best Jazz/Blues Recording/Artist for his recording "The Jazz Beat Sessions" (June 2005).

Shan has completed two recordings to date. "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.

Shan's second international release "Below Sea Level" was released in April 2008. "Below Sea Level" is ten of Shan's original compositions for jazz guitar trio and quartet. This recording is presently being internationally promoted.

Shan is committed to performing as a band leader as well as writing and recording his own material. In addition to the above, Shan keeps busy teaching a full studio of aspiring guitarists. He has been a clinician at the Acadia University Jazz Band Camps and taught the inaugural class at the Nova Scotia Community College's new waterfront campus where they offer a music diploma.


1997 - The Spin (CBC Radio).

2005 - The Jazz Beat Sessions (CBC Radio).

2008- Below Sea Level

Below Sea Level is currently being promoted internationally.

Set List

A typical set consists of a mix of original and standard tunes such as the lineup on
Shan's CD, "The Jazz Beat Sessions" - more original compostions can be sampled on "Below Sea Level" at:



That Something


Call it Love

What's New


The Spin

Middle Ground