Charles “Bobo” Shaw, American jazz drummer, Died at 69


Charles Wesley “Bobo” Shaw was born on September 15, 1947, and died on January 16, 2017.

He was an American free jazz drummer, known as a prominent member of the Human Arts Ensemble and Black Artists Group. He was born in Pope, Mississippi.

He joined the American Woodsman Drummer bugle corp in 1953 and also played with the Tom Powel Post American Legion #77.

He also learned trombone and bass growing up, and studied drums under Joe Charles and Elijah Shaw.

He also studied with Rich O’Donnel and Bernnie Snyder of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Charles “Bobo” Shaw also was a founding member of the Black Artists Group, a St. Louis, Missouri ensemble, in the 1960s; during that decade he also played with Lester Bowie, Frank Lowe, Hamiett Bluiett, John Mixon, and Oliver Lake.

Bobo moved to Europe later in the 1960s and played in Paris with Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Frank Wright, Alan Silva, Michel Portal, Cecil Taylor, Richard Martin, and Frank Lowe.

When he returned to St. Louis, he played with Lake again in 1971 and then in the 1970s led the Human Arts Ensemble, playing with Lester Bowie, Joseph Bowie, Julius Hemphill, David Murray and Lake again.

Charles “Bobo” Shaw played with Billy Bang in the 1980s, and experimented with incorporating new wave and funk music into his improvisational Jam Sessions at venues in New York City.

He was a long time resident of Garfield Apartments, a part of Peter & Paul Community Service in St Louis, Missouri.

Charles “Bobo” Shaw was placed into a nursing care center in December 2016 due to his failing health.

Charles “Bobo” Shaw passed away at 69 years old.