In Memorium: Lee Shaw

Lee Shaw at her Tribute Concert at Cohoes Music Hall, 2009

Lee Shaw at her Tribute Concert at Cohoes Music Hall, 2009

Story and photographs by Rudy Lu

Lee Shaw was an inspiration to all of us in the arts. Her gentle, sincere ways and quiet courage touched us all, always focused on her art and celebrating the world around her.

When one had a conversation with her, inevitably the topic of conversation would turn to you – how you were doing and what inspired you and made you happy.

Her advice to me as others was to do what you love, and whatever the cost it will be worth it.

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Lee certainly followed her own advice; during her 2011 concert with John Medeski at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center she actually played through a heart attack.

Her music was always her source of strength. Following that heart attack, Lee’s doctors advised her to play no more than 15-20 minutes at a time, and then take a rest. She never followed that advice, always playing a complete set of a hour/hour and a half, just as before.

Farewell Lee, you will be missed by all of us here on Earth. I am truly honored to have known you and to call you friend. I am sure you and Stan are playing together at the 52nd Street in the sky!

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Lee Shaw at The First Reformed Church, 2011

Lee Shaw at The First Reformed Church, 2011

Lee Shaw at The Lake George Jazz Festival, 2008

Lee Shaw at The Lake George Jazz Festival, 2008

John Medeski and Lee Shaw at The Zanekl Center, 2011

John Medeski and Lee Shaw at The Zankel Center, 2011

Lee Shaw  with the Van Dyck All-Stars' Tribute to Nick Bridnola, 2011

Lee Shaw with the Van Dyck All-Stars’ Tribute to Nick Brignola, 2011

Rich Syracuse with Lee Shaw at her surprise birthday party, 2013

Rich Syracuse with Lee Shaw at her surprise birthday party, 2013

Lee Shaw in concert at The First Reformed Church, Schenectady, 2011

Lee Shaw in concert at The First Reformed Church, Schenectady, 2011

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