With incredible talent and perseverance, Chip Shelton has earned an undisputed reputation as one of the most renowned flutists in the world of jazz. The flute, with its high-pitched tone, didn’t start out as a swinging jazz instrument until Frank Wess first popularized it as a member of Count Basie’s Big Band. He set the standard for such noted flutists as Yusef Lateef, Herbie Mann, Charles Lloyd, and Hubert Laws that further propelled the instrument into the jazz spotlight. What separates Shelton from his legendary predecessors is his ability as a multi-instrumentalist. He utilizes the entire flute family from the tiny piccolo, Bb flute, concert flute in C, alto flute, bass flute, (the five-foot) contra-bass flute to the end-blown flute (custom fitted so it can be played in a saxophone position), and ethnic wood flutes. “These instruments are more difficult to play, but I’m willing to work harder to produce these different sounds that people don’t ordinarily hear,” says Shelton. “Since many of these instruments aren’t seen regularly on stage they are real conversation pieces.” Shelton’s varied arsenal also includes percussion, keyboards, the unique saxophones C-tenor, and C-soprano.