Born and raised in the inner city of Los Angeles, Woods is an author, a self-taught composer, conductor, lyricist and pianist. Blessed with the opportunity to conduct Parade of the Chariots from the movie, Ben Hur, during his final year in junior high school, Woods became hooked on directing bands, choirs and orchestras. He also had one of his original arrangements performed by the school jazz band that year. Thus, the fire was lit, and there was no putting it out.
Woody Woods has been connected with the NSMC since meeting the choir in 1993 on their trip to Washington and has played a pivotal role in helping to define the Nova Scotia Mass Choir sound. He has directed the choir at significant moments in their history including their performance and recording at their landmark “Hallelujah Show” on Vision and CBC TV, at the Glenn Gould Studio Theatre in Toronto, the CBC National Radio broadcast from the Cohn in 2010 and at performances at the Atlantic Jazz Festival, just to name a few. He was instrumental in the production of the NSMC award-winning CD’s “Heaven” and “He Hasn’t Failed Me Yet”. His musical direction has anchored the choir through the years and his compositions have been many of the choir’s favourite and most requested songs. He also composed and conducted the NSMC in our collaboration with the Symphony Nova Scotia in “The Easter Suite”.
Besides working with the choir, Woody Woods has an extensive professional career including composing and arranging for symphonies across the United States and here in Halifax, working with artists such as Jeri Brown, Billy Preston, Nichelle Nichols, Albert King, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson – Booby Womack – Abbey Lincoln (AKA Amanata Mosaka) – Dee Dee Bridgewater – Toottie Heath – Gerald Wilson – Eartha Kitt – Dizzy Gillespie – Stevie Wonder – The Inkspots – The Temptations – Ima Sumac – Mel Carter – Ray Charles and more. Woody was also the musical director for “The Gospel at Colonus”, a Neptune Theatre production.
Woods was originally a woodwind player specializing in tenor sax, flute and clarinet. He began to take the piano seriously when the pianist in his high school jazz ensemble (The Jazz Executives) joined another band. Since the band could not play without a pianist, Woods starting playing the piano and never did get back to any of his woodwinds.
Today, Woods has turned his time and talent toward sharing his thoughts and feelings with the world in form prose & poetry. In addition, he is directing and producing several video projects that feature his music and poetry. He now resides in Las Vegas, and performs around the world.