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George Shearing (born 13 August 1919 in London) is a well-known jazz pianist and inventor of the famous "Shearing Sound": a form of smooth cocktail jazz characterised by block chords played on the piano along with similar chords played on the vibraphone. Shearing was born blind and started to learn piano at the age of three. After limited training and extensive listening to recorded jazz, he began playing at hotels, clubs and pubs in the London area, sometimes solo, occasionally with dance bands. In 1940, Shearing joined Harry Parry's popular band and became a star in Britain, performing for the BBC, playing with Stéphane Grappelli's London-based groups of the early 1940s, and winning seven consecutive Melody Maker polls. In 1946, Shearing established himself in the United States. In 1955, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Leading a quintet (piano with guitar, bass, drums and vibraphone), which over
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