Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Launching his career playing trumpet and flugelhorn, Ian Shaw has had his greatest success since shifting his focus to his baritone/tenor vocals. The New York Times praised him for his "complete emotional control of the classic jazz-idiom standards," while Cadence magazine cited his "buttery sound and real jazz singer's ability to improvise along instrumental lines." A native of the small Welsh village of St. Asaph, Shaw hails from a musical family: his grandfather, Chick Smith, played trumpet in dance bands; his father played cornet in brass bands; a cousin, Jimmie Deucher, performed with the Clarke/Boland Big Band. Beginning to play trumpet at the age of 15, he studied with Joe Csibi, the principal trumpet player of the Irish National Symphony Orchestra, and Bobby Shaw of the Buddy Rich and Horace Silver bands. Shaw was equally attracted to vocalizing. He studied harmony with Trevor England and received vocal training at the College of Music and choral experience at Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin. While attending Trinity College in Dublin, Shaw supported himself by singing jingles, television documentary scores, and with local rock groups including the British soul band Brave New World. Following his graduation, he began singing songs by American pop composers including Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael. A regular performer at Ronnie Scott's in London, Shaw recorded his debut solo album, Ghostsongs: Ian Shaw Live at Ronnie Scott's, in the club. His first release in North America, In a New York Minute, released in 1999, was shared with influential jazz pianist Cedar Walton. His second solo album, Soho Stories, was released the following year.