Alto & Soprano saxophonist Jaleel 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 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, Jaleel received a full tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. He attended Berklee for four years and earned a dual degree in Music Education and Performance in 2000. While attending 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 graduating from Berklee, Jaleel received a scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he received his Masters in Jazz Performance in May, 2002.
Since arriving in New York City in 2000, Shaw has performed in groups that include the Mingus Big Band, the Count Basie Orchestra and The Village Vanguard Orchestra, as well as groups led by Roy Hargrove, Dave Holland, Stefon Harris and Jason Moran.
Jaleel’s debut CD, “Perspective” was released in June 2005 and received rave reviews from Jazzwise Magazine, The New York Times, and it was named one of the top 5 debut cd’s of 2005 by All About Jazz Magazine, Jazzwise Magazine, and the Jazz Journalist Association. He was also awarded an Ascap Young Jazz Composer Award for his composition “The Heavyweight Champion”, featured on the CD. That same year, Jaleel joined the Roy Haynes Quartet.
In 2008, Jaleel started his own record label - Changu Records, on which he released his second CD “Optimism”. Shaw can also be heard on Roy Haynes’ most recent live Grammy nominated recording “Whereas”.