Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Berg, Jason (Waltony)

Berg, Jason (Waltony), trumpet; b. Hartford, CT, 10 March 1976. He's the son of Marlene Berg (1/18/45, Irvington, New Jersey) and Kenneth Berg (8/17/33, Clay Center, Kansas). He received his high school diploma in 1994 from William H. Hall High School, West Hartford, CT. From 1991-1994, he was a member of Artists Collective, Hartford, CT., and a student of Jackie McLean.

From 1994-1998, he worked on getting his Bachelor of Music Degree from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. During the period he was Assistant Ensemble Coach and Trumpet Teacher at the New Brunswick Jazz Institute. From 1998-2000, he received his Master's of Music Degree from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, and took part in private study in trumpet performance with Peter Bond (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra).

His teaching experience includes teaching Jazz improv, Jazz ensemble and Theory at Montclair State since 1999. From 1998-2000, he was a Teaching Assistant at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.  His responsibilities included developing curriculum for and teaching Survey of Jazz Styles course (required of all jazz majors), conducting Rutgers Jazz Ensemble, conducting several small jazz ensembles and various administrative duties. Since 1999, he has been a Trumpet Instructor, at Rutgers University (Newark), Department of Visual and Performing Arts. In 2000, he was an   Instructor of a brass class at Middlesex County Middle School of the Arts and an Assistant Instructor, jazz improv, Middlesex County Arts High School.

In 1993, he was a freelance musician, playing trumpet performances with artists such as James Spaulding, Kenny Barron, Sam Dockery and Ghanian master percussionist Abraham Adzenyah.  He also worked with local New Jersey musicians and ensembles such as Ray Rodriguez's Latin Jazz Project and the jump blues band, The Fins. In 1994 he became Co-Leader and Founder of Positive Rhythmic Force, a straight ahead jazz quartet, doing performances and clinics throughout the Northeast including the Hartford Jazz Festival and BET's Jazz Showcase.

In 1998, he composed and performed original music in collaboration with choreographer Maia Claire Garrison for Rutgers University DancePlus performance of Ina Flipmode Kinduv Mood. In 1999 he composed and performed original music in collaboration with director Eric Ruffin for a Rutgers Theater Company production of Anna Deavere Smith's Fires In The Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities. In 2000, he composed and performed original music in collaboration with choreographer Randy James for his piece Looking Eastward at the 92nd St. Y in New York City and at the George St. Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ.

Grammy All-American Band 1994 (with the NARAS Grammy Jazz Band) (1994); Pops N Jazz (with the Hall High Concert Jazz Band) (1994); Martin Obeng: Africa, Never Stand Still (1994); Kweku Kwaakye Obeng: Sun Sum (1995); Positive Rhythmic Force: Positive Rhythmic Force (1996), The Question Is (1998)

Unpublished lecture presentation:
Bridging the Gap: Small Group Improvisation As A Method For Teaching Improvisation.  Berg, Jason W. and Brookes, Stephen.  College Music Society, Northeast Chapter Meeting, March 31, 2000.

Honors and Awards:
1998  International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition Winner.
1997  Fish Middleton Scholarship Winner, East Coast Jazz Festival.
1997  Best Soloist of Festival Award, Villanova Jazz Festival.
1997  Presser Foundation Scholar.
1995  Phi Eta Sigma scholastic honor society.
1994  National Foundation for  the Arts awards in Jazz Composition/Performance.
1994  Down Beat Magazine Student Music Award.
1994  Grammy All-American High School Jazz Band.

Contact information:
119 Thomas Street #2
Bloomfield, NJ, 07003
Phone: (973) 566-0130

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