Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z

Korman, Cliff (Hillel)

Korman, Cliff (Hillel), pianist, educator, arranger, producer; b. New York, NY, 14 March 1957. He grew up mainly in North Bellmore, NY. Moved back to NYC in 1976 at 19 years old. His parents are Manfred Korman b. 1931 Hamburg, Germany and Mona Widder b. 1932 New York, NY. His brother is Jerome (Jerry) Korman b. 1960, a New York, NY pianist, arranger, conductor, educator.

He attended Empire State College for his Bachelor of Arts in Music (1986). He attended City College of New York for his Master of Arts with specialization in Jazz Performance (1996). He attended Manhattan School of Music for his Doctoral Studies (2003-04). He's studied Theory and Composition with Ludmilla Ulehla (2004, 1985), John Graziano (1996), David Bushler (1995) and Joel Lester (1995). He's studied piano technique with Julie Holtzman (2000-01), Robert Durso (1994-95) and Vera Tisheff (1978-81). He's studied Jazz Piano, Theory, Harmony, Improvisation with Sanford Gold (1977-78), Harold Danko (1976,1985), Barry Harris (1976-79), Joanne Brackeen (1984), Michael Longo (1988-89), Kenny Barron (1993), Roland Hanna (1995-6), Garry Dial (2003-04), Dave Liebman (2003-04) and Phil Markowitz (2003-04). His education includes jazz ensembles with Ron Carter (1993-95). He's studied arranging with Don Sebesky (1978), at a BMI Jazz Composers Workshop (2000-01) and with Mike Abene (2003-04).
His teaching experience includes teaching at City College of New York where he was an Adjunct Professor; Studio Orchestra, Beginning Piano, Jazz Piano, Survey of Music (1997-2003) and Graduate Assistant Instructor: improvisation, repertoire, ensembles (1994-95). He's taught at Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil teaching Jazz piano, ensembles (1995) and Pan-American Popular Piano (2004). He's taught at the Manhattan School of Music teaching Preparatory Division Jazz History, Theory, Ensembles, Piano (2003). At New School University: Jazz and Contemporary Music, he's taught Brazilian Ensemble (2002) and World Music for Improvisers (2004).

His Fulbright Lecture/Research scholarship was at Escola de Musica de Brasilia and University of Rio de Janeiro Brasil (1999-2000). He's been an instructor for Drummers Collective teaching Brazilian music seminars (1991-present), rhythm section workshops, private lessons and the "Real Deal" Workshop (rhythm section ensemble) (1995-present). He's also private instructor of jazz piano harmony, improvisation and rhythm section skills.
Korman's scholarly work in the fields of Jazz and Brazilian music has received prestigious recognition, including a Fulbright Lecture/Research grant in Brazil, the invitation by the Sonneck Society for American Music to deliver a paper on the music of Thelonious Monk, the publication of an article on the same topic in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, and the presentation of his lecture "Jazz & Brazilian Instrumental Music: Common Roots, Divergent Paths" at the Jazz Research Roundtable at Rutgers University. In January 2003, at the IAJE conference in Toronto, he presented his research on "Choro: Brazilian Instrumental Improvised Music." In July 2004, as part of the "Contemporary Frontiers" series at the University of Minas Gerais, Brasil, he presented his work on "Pan-American Popular Piano."

Korman has been working in his home city of New York since 1975, performing and/or recording with artists from various sides of the music world including saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, trumpeter Chuck Mangione, vibraphonist Dave Samuels, guitarist Chuck Loeb, vocalists Millie Jackson, Susannah McCorkle and Jeannie Bryson, drummer Bob Moses, bassist Milt Hinton, the group Blood, Sweat and Tears, and vocalist Jon Lucien.
He has appeared with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and performed George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the City College Orchestra at Aaron Davis Hall.

His jazz group has appeared in many New York clubs, including Birdland, Cleopatra's Needle, Metronome Lounge, Smoke, and Makor, featuring through the years bassists David Finck, Dennis Irwin, Leo Traversa, Joe Fitzgerald, and John Benitez, drummers Payton Crossley, Allison Miller , Adriano Santos, and Paulo Braga, saxophonists Billy Drewes, Steve Sacks, and Anat Cohen, trumpeters Tim Ouimette, Diego Urcola and James Zollar. In 2001 Korman toured Brasil with the Cliff Korman Jazz Trio featuring Steve Johns and Ray Drummond.

Korman is well known for his work as a performer and a researcher in the field of Brazilian instrumental music. His passion began in 1981 during his studies at the Creative Music Studio. In the years since, he has performed with the samba group Pe-De-Boi, Thiago de Mello's small and large jazz ensembles, guitarist/producers Oscar Castro-Neves and Roberto Menescal, and vocalists Astrud Gilberto, Leny Andrade, Leila Pinheiro, and Zizi Possi. In June 1993 he traveled to Brazil with guitarist/composer Toninho Horta to present concerts and workshops. This trip initiated an annual voyage, during which he has played and recorded with guitarist/composer Juarez Moreira, arranged and produced The Cliff Korman Quartet Plays the Music of Pacifico Mascarenhas. He has taught seminars and courses in jazz piano, ensembles and improvisation at the University of Minas Gerais (1995-96), the Escola Villa Lobos in Rio de Janeiro (1996, 2000), The University of Rio de Janeiro (2000), and the Escola da Musica in Brasilia (1997-2001). In 1997, he participated in the Tribute to Jobim at Carnegie Hall. In 2000 Korman was featured in a duo-piano project with Wagner Tiso and Milton Nascimento.
Korman co-leads a duo/quintet project with the legendary Brazilian clarinet and sax player Paulo Moura. The duo met in 1989 at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock.

In 1993 Cliff formed the ensemble Corassao Brasileiro, a Brazilian-Jazz quintet that performed at the New York clubs Birdland, Yardbird Suite and Cleopatra1s Needle. In 2001 the project evolved into a new concept: The Brazilian Tinge which represents a synthesis of Korman's cross-investigation of Jazz and Brazilian instrumental music in the form of performance, recordings and lecture.

He's played many festivals including the North Sea Jazz; The Hague, Holland; JVC Jazz, Nice, France, London, England Drum Jazz Festival, Amsterdam, Holland; International Jazz Festival, Eilat; Israel Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada; Bogota Jazz Festival, Cali and Bogata, Colombia; Cantar da Costa, Genoa, Italy; Floating Jazz Cruise, S.S. Norway Lincoln Center Out-of Doors and Midsummer Might Swing, New York City; Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center; Jazz and Image Rome, Italy.

He's performed with Toninho Horta, Dave Samuels, Chuck Loeb, Harvie Swartz, Ray Drummond, Paulo Braga, Paulo Moura, Dori Caymmi, Leny Andrade, Robertinho Silva, Lee Konitz, Paquito de Rivera, Duduka da Fonseca, Zizi Possi, Wagner Tiso, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Oscar Castro Neves, Roberto Menescal, Milton Nascimento and others.

Paulo Moura/Cliff Korman: Mood Ingenuo (1999), Gafieira Dance Brasil (2001); Bossa Jazz (2001); Migrations (2004)
As sideperson:
Millie Jackson: Live and Uncensored (1978); Bob Moses: When Elephants Dream of Music (1982); Paulinho Pedro Azul: Olha Para Mim (1990); Gerry Mulligan: Paraiso (1993); Toninho Horta: Foot on the Road (1995); Carola Grey: The Age of Innocence (1995); Ana Caram: Maracana (1993), Bossa Nova (1995), Blue Bossa (arranger, co-producer) (2001); Juarez Moreira: Samblues (1996);Jon Lucien: Endless is Love (1997); Christy Baron: I Thought About You (arranger, co-producer) (1997); Astrud Gilberto: Temperance (1997), Jungle (2002); Paula Oliveira: Paula Oliveira (1998); Jon Lucien: By Request (1999); Chuck Mangione: The Feeling's Back (arranger, co-producer) (1999); Rosa Passos/Ron Carter: Entre Amigos (co-producer) (2003)

Radio and television broadcasts:
Soundcheck WNYC 6/02 performance/interview
Crosscurrents 6/02 interview
Fresh Air WNPR accompanist for Susannah McCorkle

Unissued recordings:
Video of presentations at Arkadia Music Center:
 a)Overview of Brazilian Music
 b)Pixinguinha and Duke Ellington: Parallel Lives (w/Anat Cohen, clar/saxophone)
Filmed June and September 2001

Bossa Magazine Interviews
 a) August, 1996 Vol 2. No 8
 b) December, 1999 Vol. 5, no. 10
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Saturday, April 19, 1997 Bob Karlovits
O Globo July 21, 2001(Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) "Alma Brasileira em Talento Americano" Jose Domingos Rafaelli
Works by Korman:
"Choro: Brazilian Instrumental Improvised Music"
Read at IAJE 2003 Conference.
Published as a part of IAJE Research Papers, 2003
"Inside the Brazilian Rhythm Section": Instructional work. Published Sher Music, 2002
"Criss Cross: Motivic Development in Composition and Improvisation"
Regarding Thelonious Monk's use of motive: Read at the 1998 Sonneck Society Convention (Juried)
Published in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies (Vol. 10, 2000)
Fulbright lecture/research scholarship: Common links, divergent paths of jazz and choro, Brasil, 1999-2000
Presented at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University Jazz Research Roundtable, December 14, 2000

Fulbright Lecture/Research Grant Brasil 1999-2000

2) http://www.latinjazznet.com/special_features/questions/cliff_korman.htm

Contact information:
Clifford H. Korman
74 Halsey St. Apt. 1 Brooklyn , NY 11216 Tel/Fax 718-783-5515

Back to Top