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Tani Tabbal

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Lee Shaw

The Whisperdome in the Unitarian Universalist Society Church in Schenectady will host a public memorial service and concert for pianist Lee Shaw on Friday, December 11 at 7:00pm

Performing will be many of Shaw’s students and her longtime musical partners - drummer Jeff Siegel and bassist Rich Syracuse.

The Lee Shaw Memorial Fund has been set up for donations under the umbrella of the not-for-profit Swingtime Jazz Society. A scholarship will be awarded yearly to a high school pianist pursuing jazz studies in college. Contributions to this scholarship fund can be made to: Swingtime Jazz Society and mailed to Patti Melita, Treasurer, PO Box 232, Troy, NY 12181-023 with Lee Shaw Memorial Fund in the memo line.

From pianist Peg Delaney:

In spite of all that had happened to her since her hospitalization in January, she managed to play at The Stockade Inn, Grappa 72, Avila Nursing Home and every Wednesday at her residence, The Eddy. But unfortunately the Wednesday before her passing she did not play but confided to a friend that things felt different. Thursday she asked for Hospice Care and from then on, did not get out of bed.

Her house was sold to a dear friend, her piano sold to her student, Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs took 20 boxes (700 pounds) of teaching materials, and Jeff Kos, historian, from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame took her awards, photos on her music room wall, and about 1500 cassettes of her performance on gigs, concerts.

Lee recorded everything. She brought her little cassette recorder to all of her gigs and concerts. She recorded her student’s piano lessons, jazz radio shows including Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, Radio Deluxe, Jim Wilke’s After Hours, Tim Coakley’s and Bill McCann’s shows. She recorded anything jazz. She told me she bought a box of 10 cassettes every week. I recently told her there were over 6000 cassettes and jokingly asked her “What were you thinking?” She answered, “I wanted everything, everything jazz.”

Much has been written regarding this phase of Lee’s life. The links below are examples of the tributes to her life and the many who love her.


A new group, Musical Tools for the Schenectady Schools, is seeking unused band and orchestra instruments to put to use in the Schenectady Schools Music program.

“We hear that many people have instruments around the house that are no longer being used. Dusting them off and putting them in the hands of a young student would be an inspiring gift to the community and to a future musician,” said Mark Anthony, Musical Union 85-133 President, an organizer of the drive.

The instruments will go to Schenectady Friends of Music, who have had the traditional role of supporting the music programs in Schenectady.
Tax-deductible receipts are available.

“We have heard from teachers that the music program is growing by leaps and bounds, which has put pressure on the supply of instruments. It would be great if each student had an instrument to play and take home to practice,” said Steve Weisse, President of Schenectady Friends of Music.

If you are interested in donating, Friends of Music will arrange for a
pickup by calling Steve Weisse at (518) 346-4266.

On nearly every day of the week a radio station in the Capital District features jazz music in its programing.

For a full listing of programs featuring jazz music visit:


Local musicians and fans sound off on their favorite jazz recordings. Click here to participate.


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