Alex Shaw

Vocalist, Percussionist, Composer, Educator


Alex Shaw is a percussionist, vocalist, composer, and arts educator specializing in Brazilian music traditions.

Alex Shaw by Mark Stehle

Alex is a section leader of Philadelphia's award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Director of the renowned Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil.  In 2010, he joined the music faculty at the University of the Arts as a senior lecturer and will be joining music faculty at Temple University in Spring 2015.  Alex has been awarded several competitive artist grants to support his music research and study in Brazil, including Arts International’s Artist Exploration Fund (2004) and the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts (2007).  In 2012 he was honored with an Emerging Legacy Award at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium for Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania.

Alex currently serves as member of the Board of Directors of LiveConnections and is a lead facilitator for their music education programming.  Since 2008, LiveConnections has created innovative, boundary-crossing music programming and education using the venue of its partner, World Cafe Live, in West Philadelphia. As a freelance arts educator since 2001, Alex regularly teaches, lectures, and performs throughout greater Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and also works at several universities as a dance accompanist. 

Alex earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2000.  He and his family live in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia.