Alto and soprano saxophonist Jaleel Shaw is presently a member of the Roy Haynes Quartet, the Mingus Big Band, and has performed with Christian McBride, Jason Moran, Stefon Harris, Roy Hargrove, Dave Holland, Jimmy Cobb, and more. Shaw grew up in Philadelphia, PA, where he was constantly surrounded by music. He picked up the alto saxophone when he was nine and joined a youth jazz band directed by jazz educator Lovette Hines about a year later. In addition to performing with Hines’ band for nearly six years, Shaw also immersed himself in Philly’s local jazz scene, studying and performing with some of the talented musicians that city has historically produced.
Upon graduating from high school, Shaw received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. He attended Berklee for four years and earned a dual degree in music education and performance in 2000. While at Berklee, he received the Billboard Endowed Scholarship for Outstanding Academic and Musical Achievement (1998), two Woodwind Dept. Chair Awards,the Outstanding Student Teacher Award, and the Boston Jazz Society Award (1999).
After graduation, Shaw received a scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he received his master's in jazz performance in May of 2002.
Shaw’s debut CD, Perspective, was released in June 2005 and received rave reviews from Jazzwise Magazine and the New York Times, and was named one of the top five debut CDs of 2005 by All About Jazz Magazine and Jazzwise Magazine. He was also awarded an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his composition “The Heavyweight Champion,” featured on the CD. That same year, Shaw joined the Roy Haynes Quartet and in 2006 and was featured on Roy Haynes’s Grammy-nominated Whereas recording.
In 2008, Shaw started his own record label, Changu Records, on which he released his second CD, Optimism. That same year, he won another ASCAP Young Composer Award for the composition “The Flipside,” which is heard on Optimism. He was also nominated for Up and Coming by the Jazz Journalists Association later that year. Shaw has recently been mentioned in Jazztimes Magazine’s 2011 Readers Poll for Alto Saxophonist of the Year, along with Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Bunky Green, and Kenny Garrett.