It’s gratifying when folks show their appreciation. Here are some samples I offer — modestly but proudly:

(excerpt from TV and Broadway actress Sally-Jean Heit’s blog:)

Tracy Wilson, head of The Berkshire Music School called last Friday to ask if I would critique a class of students that were studying to be Cabaret Artists.

I watched and listened to four people push the envelope of life until it blossomed like the rose you wish you had planted and nurtured.  And yes, they all won the prize… Oh, my friends there was so much love in that room that morning.

I floated out and am still airborne.  More and more I do not recognize the world around me. But on that morning in Berkshire Music school, students of a certain age were following their dreams and, for me, for just that moment in time I remembered, like the t-shirt says, LIFE IS GOOD.

To you, Tracy, Sherri, Bob… THANK YOU!

– Sally-Jean Heit
[famed Broadway & TV actress and cabaret star]

Bob —

Countless thanks to you for your kindness to me and for your humour. Your jazz arrangements (chords, rhythm, timing…you name it!) are of that rare quality where every single note counts.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

– Karèn Tchougourian
[internationally recognized, award-winning concert pianist]

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your good thoughts on the music and my work, it means a lot – my feeling is right back at you.

You are a consummate professional and deeply creative musician.

Dr. Royal Hartigan, J. William Fulbright scholar
Professor, music department
UMass Dartmouth

Playing with a group is always really special. I love playing guitar and singing, but to collaborate with other musicians is magical. In preparing for the concert, I informed Samirah that I really wanted a very small ensemble with a piano solo on It’s Always You. She paired me with Bob Shepherd on piano who excelled on this piece in particular in the concert. Listening to his solo as we performed was one of my favorite parts of the concert.

[Sean, a participant in Samirah Evans’ jazz vocal class at Williams College]

Hello Bob,

After the (mixed) thrill of watching the video of myself on stage, I am struck by the deft accompaniment.  You are right there with me, covering missed beats, cueing me ahead of difficult transitions, almost seamlessly connecting the parts, so that everything flows gracefully to a tidy conclusion.  My uncle is right: The accompanist – in this case, you – makes the singer.  Listen closely to him (her).  A lesson learned (at least for now).  Sherri does not exaggerate when she reminds us of your role in the partnership.

[Vocalist, participant  in Cabaret Intensive at Berkshire Music School]


No one works harder on the show than you! Thank you so very much for your kind spirit, your amazing talent and your willingness to go the extra miles — 100 miles — who are we kidding!

My heart —

– Mary Verdi
[Vocalist, show director, road manager for Reba McEntire]

Hi Bob,

It was such a pleasure to meet and hear you at The Mount soiree on Friday. You truly are listener friendly with your smooth, silky piano playing. I was impressed with your musicianship and could see how much you use your head and heart in your work, too.

So glad I got to hear you play and I look forward to hearing you more [this year]. Let me know when you’re playing in the Berkshires again. I’d like to catch another gig as your soulful music touched my heart.

– Carol McGlinchey, C.R.T.

Hi Bob,

-I’m so glad that I went and also hope I can do it again next time! It was a pleasure being accompanied by you, it was perfect-thank you!

– Gina Ferrari Falin
[Participant in jazz vocal workshop with Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton]

Hi Bob,

It makes my heart leap when I enter the church on Sunday evenings and hear you jazzing it up in the sanctuary. I can sit and listen to you play anything, perhaps the phone book next time.

With great admiration,

– Craig
[A great longtime friend]

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your artistry and your cheerful support last Sunday at the Gateways. I know I threw you a few last minute changes, not to mention that you were working off a new chart without a run-through, but it all came out just fine.

I really appreciate all you said during the workshop, and I learned a great deal from you and Sherri. At first I was unconvinced that was me up there at the mic on performance day, but there are witnesses, so I guess it did happen. Much credit goes to you, as I was confident you would follow me.

Here’s hoping that I will have the opportunity to work with you again. I loved your idea of testing the structure of a show up in the Berkshires before presenting it in New York.

Enjoy what’s left of the summer, and again, many thanks.


– Alice Rosengard
[cabaret vocalist]

Hi Bob,
Thanks for playing for us again, your music always adds something special to our events!

-Allison Costantino [Development Associate, Edith Wharton Restoration]

Bob —

…and just for fun and for the love, happiness and peace of it I will learn these songs and share them… It would be an honor and most humbling to learn a song and sing it with your brilliant accompaniment – may sound simple but a dream fulfillment for me.

– Susan Jameson

Bob —

You are a treasure to the Berkshires, to our group, and to me!

I’m so grateful for all the ways you support, guide, instruct, attend to, and encourage all of us.  You have so much wisdom, knowledge, and experience to share, and you have so much fun doing it.  Your sense of fearlessness and fun helped to create a safe place for us to take risks and learn from them…

…Thank you for your everpresent help and support, and the beautiful background you are providing for me to build my skills on It’s always a pleasure to work with you!

– Jane Rosen
[vocalist with whom I’ve performed on gigs for several years]


I wanted to tell you how gorgeous your lead in Funny Valentine was. Sherri nailed it, too, but I was so glad she gave you the whole song to play alone. It was wonderful. Mara and I both were sniveling by the time you were done. It was so, so good. You never disappoint your vocalists but it’s nice to just listen to you once in awhile.

– Caroline Meyer-Young
[vocalist and constant fan after a show that included Sherri James Buxton’s wonderful singing]


It was such a pleasure for my husband and for me to witness your brilliant duo on Sunday night at Gateways.  Just to be in the presence of such consummate musicians was a thrill to me.  I loved the playful way you approached the standards you played.  Hearing you trade riffs was so much fun.  Please keep me posted about other opportunities to enjoy your music.

– MaryJo Maichack
[vocalist, professional story-teller and student of our Cabaret course at Berkshire Music School]


I can’t thank you enough for all your patience and expertise these past ten weeks. You have guided us well. I enjoyed getting to know you a bit, and hope our paths continue to cross.

Best, XO

– Lisa Avery
[vocalist, professional voiceover artist and student of our Cabaret course at Berkshire Music School]

I greatly enjoyed your concert at the Athenaeum! The singing was great, and the music a joy. You are truly into the music as you play it. I can sense how satisfying this is for you.

– Henry Kranz, syndicated columnist aka “The Mountain Man”
[first-time attendee to a Sherri James Buxton concert]


Way beyond worth it.  What I got out of the class and the experience (what was it… a total of no more than 10-15 minutes?) of singing “Crazy” again was worth the price of the series.  Actually, for me, priceless.

I have never, til Monday night, felt like “a singer.”  The way I’ve always dreamed.  I have no idea, really, how I sounded.

I wasn’t “listening.”

I was, rather, as Rumi once said back in the year 1300 or so – “I have fallen into the place where everything is music.”

You have no idea the powerfulness of those moments singing.

I feel I am changed somehow….

Brimming with gratitude,

– Carolyn Bell
[vocalist whom I’d accompanied in the Springfield-Holyoke area of Massachusetts. She’d attended our advanced Cabaret class and sent this the following day]

Mr. Shepherd,

Thank you so much for both leading and accompanying the music at our wedding. It was so special to have you and Sherri be a part of our special day.

– Natalie G. and Francisco P.


It was so great to finally meet you yesterday. You all did a fabulous job.  … I received many compliments about you, so they certainly enjoyed it. I am really glad that we went with the Trio.

It was just the setting that we were looking for, for a daytime wedding. I will highly recommend you to anyone who is looking for entertainment, and it sounds like I may see you in August for an event at the Clark. I hope to see you there! Thanks so much again for a wonderful job.

– Caedy Shultz
[Following a wedding reception at Mt. Anthony Country Club, Bennington, VT]


A wonderful night that capped a wonderful experience!!

I am so grateful to each of you, and will treasure the memories of our workshop and our performance night. Can’t wait to work with you ALL again!!!

Until we meet in February (hopefully), have a lovely holiday season, and a very Happy New Year!
Love to you all,

– Ingrid Madelayne
[Following her public performance that concluded a Cabaret Class series]


What an inspiring evening! And what a fantastic class. Thank you all for your generosity, commitment, support for every member, and your amazing talent! Though we all came from different backgrounds and with different experience levels, it really felt like we were all on the same page in terms of work ethic and and group spirit. that is rare in most groups.

Sherri, Bob, thank you for setting the tone.

– Dana Harrison, Shakespeare and Company
[professional actress and student of Berkshire Music School Cabaret Class]


A complete pleasure! Dancing along with your wonderful playing was one of the week’s highlights we’ve talked about over and over.

-Neal J Blangiardo, MPH
[Following a Blantyre Castle solo performance playing for a couple who had just become engaged at Grand Central Station and were staying the night at Blantyre]

Dear Bob:

On behalf of the JCC Reunion planning committee, I’d like to thank you wholeheartedly for the wonderful music and memories you created for us. Lots of people told me during and afterward how much they enjoyed your playing, and how much it added to the evening’s enjoyment. …

Again, thanks for a job well done!

Best — Claire Meirowitz
[Following a solo gig at a reunion event]

Sherri and Bob,

You created a very professional, uncomplicated and supportive atmosphere. That purity, and your superb skills as teachers and craftspeople, allowed us to grow quickly and without complications – other than what we ourselves brought to the class and process.

Thank you for giving so much of yourselves.

To my classmates: Thank you for being so positive, so open and close.

This special combination of teachers and students helped me to feel safe and accepted (though still quite self-conscious), and to work through the many other hurdles, beside the technical ones.

Our class has been a weekly source of joy.

Thank you to all. We are indeed now family – and I look forward to many reunions!

– Jon Kramer, Neurosurgeon
[participant in our Berkshire Music School Adult Cabaret class]

Your unerring professionalism is always something I appreciate very much.  As I have said before —  you’re the best!

– Kathryn Anderson, vocalist
[vocalist whom I’ve accompanied since 2005]

Dear Bob —

You share such great words of wisdom and you share a great sensitivity to others. Thank you from a singer to a great piano man.

– Jane Thiroux, vocalist
[student in our Berkshire Music School Adult Cabaret class]