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Entrepreneur, Producer, Writer, Musician, Curator, Son and Heir to the legacies of Woody Shaw and Dexter Gordon.
Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III (named for trumpet legends Woody Shaw and Louis Armstrong) is an entrepreneur and management consultant for creative and cultural organizations, artist legacies and estates, businesses, foundations and individuals. In addition, he is also a producer, researcher, writer, musician and web professional specializing in digital business development, arts administration and new media.
Woody Shaw III has a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from Hobart College (2001). While at Hobart, he studied abroad in Japan, India and in Vietnam at the Ha Noi Conservatory of Music focusing on cultural history, Eastern philosophy and the traditional musics of each region. He has a B.F.A in Jazz Performance from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program (2004) in NYC where he studied jazz percussion, theory and performance, as well as web design and development. Thereafter, from 2006 to 2007, Woody attended the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music graduate program in Jazz Studies where he served as Associate Instructor (T.A.) to chairman and director of the program, Dr. David N. Baker.
Throughout this period, Woody III worked with legendary jazz percussionist Joe Chambers’ Urban Grooves ensemble, with saxophonist Rene McLean (son of the great Jackie McLean), guitarist Ed Cherry, and alongside saxophonists Gary Bartz, Hamiet Bluiett and others. Woody has performed at such New York venues as The Blue Note, the Iridium, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Smoke. He has also toured Europe and given lectures and musical performances in India.
In 2007, Woody was asked to join independent music label Mosaic Records as digital communications strategist and web producer and would soon guide the company in the reconstruction and design of their website and strategic integration of digital (and social) media. The same year, Woody III was hired as Senior Consultant to the United Nations Department of Public Information’s Web Services Section where he worked until 2009. Developing his technological expertise while working for both Mosaic Records and the United Nations during this time, Woody III also obtained Professional Certification in the field of Intellectual Property Law from New York University (NYU 2008).
Woody Shaw III is also the creative and administrative heir to the legacy of his father, Grammy®-nominated trumpeter, composer, band leader and jazz innovator, Woody Shaw (1944-1989), and his step-father, legendary tenor saxophonist, composer and Academy Award nominated actor, Dexter Gordon (1923-1990). He is responsible for the production, management, publishing, archiving, licensing, preservation and digital marketing of their written and recorded works, collectively managed and operated through Dex Music LLC and Woody Shaw Legacy LLC. He is the creator of their respective websites, www.woodyshaw.com (2004) and www.dextergordon.com (2006), and is an active Board Member, digital business consultant and web producer for The Mary Lou Williams Foundation, Inc., www.marylouwilliams.org. Woody III is also an adviser to an educational arts organization in South India named Brhaddhavni.
Along with his work in arts legacy management and digital media, Woody Shaw III has published various articles and essays on topics related to his family’s musical legacy: Article for the International Trumpet Guild Annual Journal (March 2012) entitled Who is Woody Shaw? Liner notes and production of new CD Woody Plays Woody by High Note Records (2012). Double feature for JazzJapan® magazine on Dexter Gordon and Woody Shaw (Memories of My Fathers, Jan. 2012). Article for JazzJapan® magazine (The Legacy of Woody Shaw, Dec. 2011). Liner notes for 6-CD Sony boxset, Woody Shaw: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (co-producer, project director, curator, art director, graphic designer) The foreword for the reprint of a book of Woody Shaw’s original compositions (Eight Jazz Classic Originals of Woody Shaw, Volume 9, Jamey Aebersold Books®, 2011). Article for The International Jazz Archives Journal (UNITY: The Inseparability of Life and Music – A Holistic View of Woody Shaw, University of Pittsburgh, Vol. III, 2010). Liner notes for the CD reissue of Woody Shaw’s 1978 album, Stepping Stones – Live at the Village Vangaurd (co-producer, Sony/BMG 2005).
Woody III has produced events at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and the Jazz Standard in New York City and given public appearances and interviews with WBGO, WBAI, WCOM, and NPR. He has given public talks and presentations for such institutions as Columbus State University (for the International Trumpet Guild 2012 Conference), BMCC and Harvard University.
Woody Shaw III is currently finishing his Master’s in Arts Administration at Columbia University.