Is This Jazz?


Composer and saxophonist Ben Shaw lends a particularly unique voice to his compositions and projects. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Composition from the University Of Rhode Island, studying from such great musicians as Eric HofbauerJared SimsJoe Parillo, David Zinno, and Eliane Aberdam. Shaw has composed for small & large classical chamber ensembles, big band, various jazz ensembles, funk band, mixed groups, electro acoustic, as well as solo pieces for various instruments. His works range from jazz to classical, hip-hop to americana, and blues to avant-garde. Composing for a variety of media, Shaw has done work in short film and animation scoring.

As a performer, Shaw is a member of several different ensembles, in a range of styles. He plays saxophone and composes for several different jazz ensembles – ranging in size from duo to octet – in which he and his colleagues perform modern, American compositions in the jazz tradition. He is also the lead vocalist and tenor sax player, as well as the main composer and lyricist, for Rhode Island based hip-hop/rock/R&B band Milkbread. They recently released their first full-length album, which is available for download on iTunes, featuring tunes written or co-written by Shaw. Aside from being a performer, he also organizes a bimonthly concert series at Providence’s AS220 called “Is This Jazz?” and hosts a podcast with the same name, where he presents music and musicians exploring the outer limits of jazz.  Shaw is excited to be a part of the growing Rhode Island arts community as a modern composer.

Is This Jazz? is the first Friday (bi-monthly) at the AS220 Main Stage.