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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Artie Shaw


ARTIE SHAW (clarinetist, bandleader, composer, arranger, writer) was born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky on May 23, 1910 in New York, NY and passed away December 30, 2004. The innovative, accomplished Swing Era musician and one of its’ premier big band leaders began touring professionally at 16. Producing such signature tunes as “Frenesi”, “Begin the Beguine” , and “Stardust”, Shaw had a heated rivalry with fellow clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman. The mercurial, outspoken and popular artist was also recognized for integrating his bands, notably hiring singer Billie Holiday. Shaw’s celebrity status featured film appearances and numerous high profile marriages including Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. Due to his admitted perfectionist nature he gave up performing in 1954, turning to writing. Shaw was awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2004.