Bob Sheppard is known as one of the most sought-after and well-respected saxophonists on the West Coast. He participates in a wide range of activities based in Los Angeles, from touring with different groups to playing on movie and television soundtracks and teaching. Sheppard received a master's degree at the Eastman School of Music, then began his professional career playing with a diverse array of jazz and pop musicians. He has performed prominently with drummer Peter Erskine, Chick Corea's Grammy-nominated Origin ensemble, and for many years with pianist Billy Childs.
As a sideman he's accompanied Freddie Hubbard, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Scott Henderson, Lyle Mays, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Horace Silver, Nat Adderley, the Tonight Show Orchestra, Bobby Shew, Bob Florence, Bill Holman, and the big bands of Toshinko Akiyoshi and Lew Tabackin. In the rock and pop world he has accompanied Steely Dan, James Taylor, Rickie Lee Jones, and others. Sheppard's tenor sax sound recalls the post-John Coltrane mode adopted by Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Mallach, and Ernie Watts, but retains a neo-bop-based sound of his own. He also employs clarinet, bass clarinet, flutes, and the soprano sax. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor of jazz at University of Southern California.