Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Berger, Kenny, baritone saxophone, clarinet, flute,bass clarinet, bassoon, composer; b. Manhattan (N.Y.), 19 December, 1947. He grew up in Brooklyn. He received a BA through the SUNY Empire State College. He attended Mannes College Of Music as a bassoon major 1965-68, Univ.of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana as Composition major 1986, Eastman School of Music Advanced Arranging Institute 1984, Rutgers Univ. Summer Institute of Jazz Education 1988 and BMI Jazz Composers Workshop 1989-90 led by Bob Brookmeyer, Manny Albam. He received an M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University-Newark in May 2000.
His private studies include composition with Morgan Powell, Edward Green; saxophone with Irving Fietell, Danny Bank; clarinet with Irving Fietell, Danny Bank, Dave Tofani; flute with Danny Bank, Harvey Estrin, Andrew Lolya; and bassoon with Steven Maxim, William Polisi, Sanford Sharoff. He has been an active freelancer around New York for many years.
He has written music for the Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Band, Lee Konitz Nonet, Phil Woods Little Big Band National Jazz Ensemble, New York Saxophone Quartet, The Dukeis Men, Radio City Music Hall Orch., Michael Brecker , Kenny Burrell, and Art Farmer.
He performed with, and in some cases written for, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Lee Konitz Nonet, Julius Hemphill Sextet, National Jazz Ensemble, Bobby Previte Septet, Ned Rothenberg's Powerlines Ensemble, New York Composers Orchestra, Microscopic Septet, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Don Sebesky NY All-star Big Band, Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Rod Levitt Octet, Bill Holman Big Band, Duke Pearson Big Band, Gil Goldstein Zebra Coast Orchestra, The Duke's Men, Manny Albam Big Band, Phil Woods, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Art Farmer, Barry Altschul, Elvin Jones, Frank Foster, Jon Lucien, and Dr. John.
His pop, classical and other media credits include Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones-Arnie Zane Dance Co., Orchestra of St. Luke's, Wind Ensemble Workshop, Juilliard Wind Ensemble, Mannes College Orchestra, Liza Minelli, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Bill Cosby, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, and Saturday Night Live Band. He has taught at Jersey City State College (now Jersey City University) and also taught 1993-95 at William Paterson University, 1991 at Western Washington University (Bellingham, Wa.), and in 1990 at Long Island University, Brooklyn.
John McNeil-Kenny Berger: Hip Deep (1996), Brooklyn Ritual (1997); National Jazz Ensemble
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