With the recent passing of clarinetist Artie Shaw, the world has truly lost the last of the musical giants of the first half of the 20th century. Shaw's artistry was ground breaking. His music is timeless. His art knew of no musical or racial boundaries. He had one of the first racially mixed bands that included vocalist Billie Holiday, trumpet soloists Roy Eldridge and Orrin "Lips" Page.
I had the pleasure of hearing Artie Shaw's new band in the early 1980s. Shaw did not play with this band but conducted, rehearsed and fronted the group. It was mesmerizing to hear Mr. Shaw conduct his music in person. It certainly made an impression when I was just beginning to study the clarinet.
principal clarinet, Utah Symphony
Salt Lake City