Elvin Shepherd

Birth Name:
Elvin J. Shepherd
Birth Date:
May 28, 1923
Birth Place:
Alexandria, Virginia
Death Date:
June 2, 1995
Place of Death:
Buffalo, New York
Cause of Death:
Cemetery Name:
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Elvin "Shep" Shepherd was a legendary saxophonist whose career spanned half a century. He traveled with such big name bands as Buck Clayton, Bill Doggett, Billy Ekstine, Erskin Hawkins, Lucky Milinder, and Nat Towles. During his storied career he also accompanied such artists as Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Ray Price, Della Reese, and Dakota Staton.

Fun fact: Drafted into the military at the age of 18, Shep went off to camp Pickett, Virginia for basic training where he made the acquaintance of members in an Army band and started sitting in with them on officers club jobs. Shep was on a troop train headed for Camp Barkley, in Ailene, Texas and made a stop in St Louis for a 5-6 hour layover. Shep and some of the guys made for place called the Hawaiian Club to hear a new band with a promising young, but unknown trumpeter named Miles Davis, and Shep recalls, “I gave him some tips on playing the trumpet”.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Forest Lawn Cemetery

1411 Delaware Ave

Buffalo, New York, 14209


North America


Grave Location:

Section 36, Lot 31-N 2/3, Space: 2

Grave Location Description

Behind the mausoleum about 100 feet from the road, even with the back-side glass doors to the mausoleum

Grave Location GPS




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age: 48

cause_of_death: Heart attack

claim_to_fame: Music

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claim_to_fame: Music

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