Woody Witt has been an increasingly significant musical force during the past decade as a saxophonist, a composer and as an educator. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Woody started on the clarinet in fourth grade, switching his focus to saxophone the following year. A professional musician from the age of 16, he studied at the University of Houston, earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. He has taught at Houston Community College since 2000, is an Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston, and has conducted a countless number of workshops and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Brazil and Asia.
As a tenor-saxophonist, Woody Witt has recorded over 30 CDs as a sideman and led 12 CDs of his own (Woody Witt, Square Peg Round Hole, Live at Cezanne’s, A Conversation, Willows, Seasons Ago, First Impression, Pots and Kettles, Absinthe: The Music of Billy Strayhorn, Presence, Made in Taiwan, Live at Cezanne). He has collaborated with such major jazz artists as trumpeters Randy Brecker, Tim Hagans and Jim Rotondi, saxophonists James Moody, David Liebman and Tim Armacost, trombonist Conrad Herwig, pianists Joe LoCascio, Larry Ham and Mark Levine, drummers Louis Hayes, Adam Nussbaum, Billy Hart, and singers Nancy King and Gabrielle Stravelli, has worked with the Houston Symphony, and has been featured on major third-stream works that blend together jazz and classical music. The winner of the 2010 Chamber Music America French American Cultural Exchange grant and the 2014 International Jazz Saxophone Competition in Taiwan, Woody has been the booker and artistic director of Houston’s top jazz club, Cezanne, since 1999 and now is the owner of the club, as it moves to a new location. Currently involved in several different group projects (including a saxophone-guitar-drums trio inspired by the Paul Motian Trio), Woody Witt is a consistently creative musician who is at the peak of his powers.