WOODY SHAW JR. PLAZA - Google Maps Street View
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In 2021, an official street sign was reinstated to commemorate the legacy of legendary jazz trumpet icon, innovator, bandleader and composer, Woody Shaw Jr. (1944-1989). Through the coordinated efforts of Shaw’s son, Woody Shaw III and The Woody Shaw Institute of Global Arts, and with help from the City of Newark, NJ, on May 19, 2021, the 96th birthday of Malcolm X, the street sign was erected at the corner of Broad and William Street in Newark, New Jersey across the street from Newark City Hall.
Broad Street is of particular importance to the Jazz legacy of Newark and of America in that it was the location of many famed clubs frequented by the world’s most renowned jazz legends and performers, such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as many local legends such as Sarah Vaughan, James Moody and other Newark greats.
Broad Street is also where young Woody Shaw first began sitting in with his heroes, which launched his first foray as a teenaged professional musician and as an up and coming trumpet prodigy before finally being discovered by Eric Dolphy at age 18.
The street sign, reinstated on May 19, 2021, went up at a fortuitous time when the city of Newark has begun to relax its restrictions on attendance at culinary and commercial venues. Mayor Baraka officially began allowing the expansion of outdoor activities and eateries in the city on May 20, 2021.
We encourage local media, Jazz fans, students, and historians to take pictures of the sign, post to social media, and help commemorate the artistic legacy of Woody Shaw and his contribution to the rich musical and cultural heritage of Newark, New Jersey, a.k.a. Brick City.