George Shelby

George Shelby's Biography

With over 35 years of playing, performing, and recording experience, George Shelby has been on stage with a vast array of artists. He has recorded and/or performed live with Beyoncé, Michael McDonald, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Toto, Bruce Springsteen, Hilary Duff, Bono, Sting, Elton John, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Johnny Mathis, and many others.

His TV and movie credits include Kung Fu Panda, Robots, Happy Feet, The Lorax, member of the "American Idol" house band for 7 seasons, "Glee", "Grammy Awards" (tribute to Aretha Franklin, with Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch, Oleta Adams, and Martina McBride), Oprah Winfrey’s final show at the United Center, "The Voice", "The X Factor", "BET Awards", "TV Land Awards", "The Emmy’s" house band, "Tonight Show" with Jennifer Love-Hewitt, "Conan" with Hanson, "Late Show with David Letterman" with Brian Setzer, "The Ellen Show" with Barry Manilow, and all of the episodes for "Bill Nye the Science Guy". He also performed for the PBS series "Live from the White House: A Tribute to the Women of Soul" with Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, Janelle Monáe, Ariana Grande, Melissa Etheridge, and Tessanne Chin.

George has released several CD’s with his own group, and continues to perform at jazz festivals around the world, including Montreal, Montreaux, Monterey, Tokyo, Manila, Nice, and Paris.

As a clinician, George has toured the world giving clinics and master classes. His varied topics include interactive discussions on tone production, working as a professional, and excerpts from his book The Improvised Life.

George has played Yamaha instruments since 1985, when he purchased his first and only soprano saxophone, which he still plays to this day. He switched to the EX line for tenor and alto in 2003, and rounded out the family with a silver plated baritone in 2011, along with various Yamaha flutes, clarinets, and a WX5 Wind MIDI Controller, and anything else that might require a good deal of hot air.

George Shelby's Gear
George Shelby