Jazz saxophonist Woody Witt freelances in the Houston area and appears with a wide variety of ensembles including the Houston Symphony. He has backed performing artists such as Ray Charles, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Melissa Manchester, Kenny Rogers, and Johnny Mathis among others.
Witt has also shared the stage with such notable jazz artists as James Moody, Michael Brecker, David Liebman, Joe Lovano, Tim Hagans, Tom Harrell, and Branford Marsalis, to name just a few.
Dr. Witt is the assistant director of jazz studies at the University of Houston and on faculty at Houston Community College teaching Jazz Ensemble and saxophone. He is also the artistic director of Houston's premiere jazz club, Cézanne.
Woody holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Houston and received his Masters degree from the prestigious University of North Texas where he taught saxophone, jazz methods, and was named Outstanding Graduate Student in Jazz Studies in 1995. Woody received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Moore's School of Music at the University of Houston in 2000.
Soloist & Clinician - Dr. Witt has appeared as a guest soloist with the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra and many college and public school jazz ensembles including Lamar University, University of Houston, Lee College, Baytown Community College, Bay City High School, Cathedral Arts Jazz Project, Texas Region X Jazz Ensemble, and many more.
Jazz Festival Adjudicator - Woody has been adjudicator for such festivals as Rio Grande Valley Festival, Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium Jazz Festival, University of Houston Jazz Festival, and others.
Woody with Ben "Scatman" Turner
Lecture Series - Dr. Witt presented a lecture on the music of Sonny Stitt for the Jazz Roundtable series at Rutgers University in March 2001. He served on a discussion panel for the Ken Burns jazz history documentary.
Published Works - Woody has published the first major work on the legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt. Sonny Stitt: His Life and His Music was written with full cooperation and support of the Stitt estate. Although Stitt was one of the most influential jazz saxophonists and most frequently recorded, he has been overlooked by many for his contribution to the art form.
Transcriptions - Witt has also transcribed a collection of Stitt's improvisations to be published in the near future.