Tommy Soulati Shepherd
Tommy Soulati Shepherd
Tommy Soulati Shepherd is an internationally renowned actor, playwright, composer, educator, rapper, drummer, beatboxer and music producer. Tommy is a member of Campo Santo, Antique Naked Soul, and co-founder of Alphabet Rockers. Tommy has composed, performed and toured internationally with Marc Bamuthi Joseph, collaborating on Scourge, the break/s, Spoken World, red, black and GREEN: a blues and /peh-LO-tah/.
Tommy won a 2018 Isadora Duncan Award and is a two-time GRAMMY nominee. Tommy brings love for family, art, activism and community building to all of his work, sparking inspiration for a more joyful and equitable world. He is the proud father of Tommy Shepherd III (one of Alphabet Rockers youth artists), whom he is raising with his wife Anna.
Led by Kaitlin McGaw (she/her) and Tommy Soulati Shepherd (he/him/they), Alphabet Rockers create brave spaces to shape a more equitable world through hip hop, as three-time GRAMMY nominees, Othering & Belonging Institute Fellows and industry leaders for change.
As touring and resident artists, Alphabet Rockers has been featured by The Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, SXSW, Lollapalooza and festivals around the country, in addition to 50+ schools each year. Their performances, media and artistry include an impactful and diverse line-up of artists, including DJ Roza Do, choreographer Samara Atkins, youth artists Kali de Jesus, Maya Fleming and Tommy Shepherd III, and dancers Arayah Fleming and Marj Ortiz.
During the pandemic, Alphabet Rockers created “We Got Work to Do,” an anti-racism curriculum that uses music and dance as embodiment tools, as seen on CBS This Morning and featured on YouTube Kids. The collective offers virtual workshops for young changemakers that use imagination and art rooted in self-acceptance as tools for change, inspiring generations of empowerment. In the studio, Alphabet Rockers’ middle school aged artists are hard at work recording their album on transformative justice, supported by foundations, individual donors and the knowledge base of community leadership.
In 2022, Alphabet Rockers published “You Are Not Alone” (Sourcebooks), an empathetic and inclusive picture book that has enchanted kids of all ages. This fall they released their 5th studio album, "The Movement," with immediate national attention from NPR's Weekend Edition and a GRAMMY Nomination - a family album with "intergenerational appeal" centering justice and community.
In all projects, Alphabet Rockers work in partnership with community and industry leaders to create media that reflects the culture of belonging needed in the world. Reaching over 5 million families since 2007, Alphabet Rockers inspire American kids and families to stand up to hate and be their brave and beautiful selves.
Alphabet Rockers is important music... it creates the culture that is the reality of the world we want.
- W. Kamau Bell, Emmy-Award Winner, CNN
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