Bio : Artists
John Shaw : Percussion
JOHN SHAW joined the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in 2008, and has been the festival’s principal percussionist since 2012. He is the principal percussionist with The Florida Orchestra, which he joined in 1992. Shaw earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University, where he studied with Gary Werdesheim, and a Master of Music degree from Temple University as a student of noted Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist Alan Abel.
Mr. Shaw has been featured as a soloist with The Florida Orchestra many times, performing the Concerto for Percussion by Joseph Schwantner, Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion by Bela Bartók, and Veni, Veni, Emmanuel by James MacMillan. His eight-member steel drum band, the Tampa Bay Steel Orchestra, was featured with The Florida Orchestra in both March 2005 and October 2009 as part of the orchestra’s pops series.
Mr. Shaw has also been the head of the percussion studio at St. Petersburg College since 1996, directing the Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Band as well as teaching applied lessons. Additionally, Mr. Shaw is the principal percussionist with Opera Tampa and St. Petersburg Opera. Over the years, he has performed with such wide-ranging artists as Andrea Bocelli, Joe Piscopo, Perry Como, Rich Little, Roger Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, and Frank Sinatra, Jr. He recently performed for the Broadway productions of White Christmas and Anything Goes.
Outside of the musical arena, Mr. Shaw enjoys competing in the Ultimate Tennis League, and is an accomplished chess player. He regularly attends Buccaneers, Lightning, and Rays games, and has performed at all three teams’ venues.
Mr. Shaw is currently the vice-president of the Florida chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and presented a masterclass on orchestral percussion at the society’s 2010 International Convention. He is an artist/endorser for Zildjian cymbals. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Florida Orchestra and Eastern Music Festival principal harpist Anna Kate Mackle.