Woodrow Charles Herman (May 16, 1913 – October 29, 1987), better known as Woody Herman, was an American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and Big band leader. During his lifetime, he led some of the most exciting big bands of the twentieth century. His bands changed styles and approaches to jazz but still managed to keep their musical integrity. Herman was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a child he worked as a singer in vaudeville, then became a professional saxophone player at age 15.