Shaw's career in performance began unusually for a jazz musician on the Alternative
Cabaret Circuit, alongside such performers as Julian Clary, Rory Bremer and
Jo Brand. Shaw was spotted by Dave Illic, jazz critic for City Limits
and was described as "the voice of the decade." Shaw recorded an
album with legendary English blues and rock artist Carol Grimes, Lazy
Blue Eyes. Over the next two years Shaw moved from the singer-pianist
format to working with his new band, Brave New World, co-formed with Adrian
York. This band garnered a huge club and concert following playing such venues
as the Hammersmith Odeon and Ronnie Scott's in the U.K.
His first solo album Ghostsongs, Live At Ronnie Scott's was described by The Wire magazine as "quite simply the year's finest release." Venturing boldly into jazz Shaw recorded a further two albums, Taking It To Hart (a tribute to Rodgers and Hart) and The Echo Of A Song (an album of love songs compiled by Shaw's mentor, Ronnie Scott.) Shaw toured extensively in the UK, Europe and the States, promoting these albums. His appearances on TV in the '90ss included guesting with Jools Holland, Pebble Mill, Top Of The Pops (Shaw wrote a song for the 1993 Children In Need), The Jack Dee Show, Christmas Night with the Stars (BBC), C4's The Happening, TVAM, BBC Breakfast Show, BBC 2's A Night of Love, BBC 2's Jazz at the 606 and, more recently, numerous appearances on the Performance and Artsworld channels. In the summer of 2002, Carlton/HTV made a documentary about Shaw.
His collaborators over the years have included Guy Barker, Mari Wilson, Ruby Turner, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Iain Ballamy, Mornington Lockett, Sarah Jane Morris, Tim Whitehead, Carol Grimes, Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton and Veryan Weston, Elton Dean, Fayaaz Virjii and Tony Remy (Jazz Warriors), Gail Thompson, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Cedar Walton, Joe Lovano, Joe Beck, Papa Vasquez, Lew Soloff, David Williams, Judi Silvano, Geoffrey Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Ray Brown.
Shaw's ongoing and highly popular collaboration is a celebrated duet show with Claire Martin, the UK's finest female jazz singer. He guested on her album Too Darn Hot. Together they have toured the world in an intimate duo setting with Shaw playing piano or sometimes with the BBC Radio Big Band, a band with whom, over the last six years, Shaw has cemented a highly popular musical relationship. He has played the Harrogate International Festival with the Big Band along with concerts all over the UK including Stoke, BBC Leeds Live, to the Cork International Jazz Festival in 2002 where Shaw made his festival debut with this internationally acclaimed radio big band. His concert and festival appearances have been numerous.
In 2002 Shaw performed in Jerry Springer, the Opera, by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee . Thomas created the part of the warm-up man/devil for Shaw. Shaw is a regular on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 as well as this year contributing to Behind the Mask with Alison Moyet, on Jazz FM (U.K.)
Nominated two years running for Best Jazz Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards, Ian Shaw has recorded 8 highly-acclaimed albums. This year, 2003, saw Ian on a national tour with the world-famous Brodsky String Quartet. The Brodsky Song Album features Ian alongside Sting, Elvis Costello, Bjørk, Paul McCartney and Jacqui Dankworth.
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