Khandeya "Kay" Sheppard is a steelpan musician, educator, and arts administrator with a wide range of solo and ensemble performance experiences in the United States and Trinidad and Tobago. She considers herself a cultural ambassador and aims to use her platforms to give back to communities through music, service, education, and mentorship.
Khandeya is a solo performer, Pan Masters Steel Orchestra member, and the music director and leader of NEXUS Band and Dynamic Steel Project. In 2019, Khandeya and NEXUS were the first act to perform featuring the steelpan as a main instrument in the Sofar Sounds franchise (Baltimore location). She has also been an instructor/arranger for PanLara Steelband and has recording credits with Moana Avvenenti, and Victor Provost and Latin Grammy award-winning group Afro-Bop Alliance.
In 2011, Khandeya became the first female steelpan principal to graduate from Berklee College of Music, earning a B.M. in Music Business/Management with a minor in Africana Studies: Music & Society. She also holds a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship from UMBC.
Khandeya is currently a staff member and faculty lecturer at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She is the creator and co-founder of the Black Berklee Network and a founding member of the HBCU Jazz Education Initiative. She has also been a featured speaker and panelist at several events about music, creative youth development, and community engagement through the arts. Khandeya has previously served as a Berklee City Music Mentor, Preparatory Academy and Faculty Outreach Teacher as well as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Education Outreach Assistant and OrchKids Senior Program Manager.