Lee Shaw Memorial Concert Is Scheduled
Photograph by Albert Brooks
The Whisperdome at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Schenectady will host a public memorial service and concert for Lee Shaw at 7pm on Friday, December 11. Shaw recorded her live album, A Place for Jazz, at the Whisperdome in 2001.
Performing at the concert will be many of Lee’s students, as well as her longtime musical partners from the Lee Shaw Trio, drummer Jeff Siegel and bassist Rich Syracuse.
The 89-year-old Shaw – the Local 518’s undisputed Queen of Jazz Piano – died on Sunday, October 25 at the Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center in Troy. Lee’s life was full of passion for music, for learning, for teaching, and her spirit lives on in her music.
In addition to the concert, the Lee Shaw Memorial Fund has been established for donations. In Lee’s name, a scholarship will be awarded annually to a high school pianist pursuing jazz studies in college. Contributions to the scholarship fund can be made out to Swingtime Jazz Society and mailed to Patti Melita, Treasurer, PO Box 232, Troy, NY 12181-023 with Lee Shaw Memorial Fund in the memo line.
The following is from jazz pianist Peg Delaney:
In spite of all that had happened to Lee since her hospitalization in January, she managed to play at the Stockade Inn, Grappa 72, Avila Nursing Home and every Wednesday at her residence, The Eddy. Unfortunately the Wednesday before her passing she did not play, but confided to a friend that things felt different. Thursday she asked for Hospice Care and from then on, did not get out of bed.
Her house was sold to a dear friend; her piano sold to one of her students; Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs took 20 boxes (700 pounds) of teaching materials; and Jeff Kos, historian from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, took her awards, photos on her music room wall and about 1500 cassettes of her performances at gigs and concerts.
Lee recorded everything. She brought her little cassette recorder to all of her gigs and concerts. She recorded her students’ piano lessons, jazz radio shows including Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, Radio Deluxe, Jim Wilke’s After Hours, Tim Coakley’s and Bill McCann’s shows. She recorded anything jazz. She told me she bought a box of 10 cassettes every week. I recently told her there were over 6,000 cassettes and jokingly asked her, “What were you thinking?” She answered, “I wanted everything, everything jazz.”