Sir George Shearing, OBE is an Anglo-American jazz pianist who for many years led a popular jazz group which recorded for MGM Records and Capitol Records. The composer of over 300 titles, he has had multiple albums on the Billboard charts during the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s.
He became known for a piano technique known as Shearing’s voicing, a type of double melody block chord, with an additional fifth part that doubles the melody an octave lower. George Shearing credits the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s reed section of the late thirties and early forties as an important influence.
Shearing’s interest in classical music resulted in some performances with concert orchestras in the 1950s and 1960s, and his solos frequently draw upon the music of Debussy and, particularly, Erik Satie and Frederick Delius for inspiration.
Born in Battersea, London, Shearing was the youngest of nine children. He was born blind to working class parents: his father delivered coal and his mother cleaned trains in the evening. He started to learn piano at the age of three and began formal training at Linden Lodge School for the Blind, where he spent four years.