Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Schoenberg, Loren

Schoenberg, Loren, saxophone; b. Paterson, NJ, 23 July 1958.

Schoenberg was raised in Fair Lawn, NJ. He entered the Manhattan School of Music as a Music Theory major/piano minor in 1976. In the interim, he had begun playing the tenor saxophone, and throughout his college years, worked in Eddie Durham's quartet. This association led to further associations with such legends as Russell Procope, Al Casey, Harold Ashby, Jo Jones, Sammy Price, Willis Jackson, Jabbo Smith, Eddie Barefield and Panama Francis. In 1979, Schoenberg produced a tribute to Charlie Parker and Lester Young at Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall) that featured Howard McGhee, Eddie Bert, Herb Ellis, Dicky Wells, Joe Albany and Mel Lewis.

The next year, Schoenberg formed his own big band in New York City, and began an association with Benny Goodman, first as an archivist and later as his personal manager. In 1985, Goodman hired the Schoenberg band to appear with him in the PBS special "Let's Dance". After Goodman's death in 1986, Schoenberg first appraised and was then appointed curator of the Goodman Archives at Yale University, where he produced the 10-CD release of previously unissued recordings.

Radio has also been a long-time vocation for Loren. He began broadcasting in 1972 on WBAI, and had his own weekly show on WKCR beginning in 1979. In 1984, became a co-host on WBGO and The Institute of Jazz Studies' "Jazz from The Archives".  In 1988/9, Schoenberg conducted the West German Radio Orchestra in Cologne in concerts of Ellington, and of  Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, co-led (with Mel Lewis) an all-star band for Gunther Schuller in Japan, and produced a tribute to Goodman at Carnegie Hall featuring his band with guests George Benson, Lionel Hampton and Joe Newman.

In 1985, the Schoenberg band began an association with the New York Swing Dance Society that remains to this day. The band has also appeared at the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Michael's Pub and many other venues in and around New York, in addition to a cross-country tour in 1989. Since 1984, Loren has steadily issued a series of challenging and wel l-received big band albums of his own, including Manhattan Work Song, which was chosen as one of the outstanding albums of 1994 by the Village Voice.

From 1986-92, Schoenberg was a member of the American Jazz Orchestra, and was its musical director and conductor for its final two seasons. He has conducted the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, as well as the The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, of which he has also been a charter member. He was also the musical director for the 1993 International Duke Ellington Conference. In addition to playing and lecturing internationally in the last few years, Schoenberg has also become a prolific writer (including a recent piece for The New York Times), and was awarded the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes, along with Dan Morgenstern. Mr. Schoenberg is currently on the faculty of The New School and the Manhattan School of Music.

He received his education at the Manhattan school of music, 1976-80, 1986-7, studying music theory, saxophone, and piano. His teaching experience includes The New School, Jazz and Contemporary music program, 1992-present, where he is a faculty member, Theory and Composition. He created the course "Form and content in classic jazz," and is director of the Ellington ensemble. At the Manhattan School of Music, he teaches a graduate course, Style and Analysis, 1996-present. He did clinics and was an adjucator for Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition, 1996. He taught at Long Island University, 1994-5 and William Paterson College, 1995. He was guest lecturer at the festival at Sandpoint, 1993 (Gunther Schuller, director). He was Artist in Residence at the University of Calgary, 1988. He is now Executive Director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, due to open soon.

Schoenberg conducts and performs in the Loren Schoenberg Jazz Orchestra (including Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, national tour) 1980 - present. He has performed in the Benny Carter Orchestra, 1987 - 2003; Jimmy Heath Orchestra, 1992 - present; Buck Clayton Orchestra, 1986-89; Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra 1990 - present; Benny Goodman Orchestra 1985; Small Groups with: Jo Jones, Count Basie and Duke Ellington Alumni Bands,Howard McGhee, Eddie Durham - 1976 to 1986. He has conducted the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, 1994-present; Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1994-present; New World Philharmonia, Caracas, Venezuela 1994; American Jazz Orchestra, 1990-92; All-star orchestra (including Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis), Japan 1989; West German Radio Orchestra, Cologne, 1988-89. He's done various freelance work with many artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Roy Eldridge, Kenny Werner, Sylvia Syms, Jimmy Knepper, Clark Terry, Jabbo Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Gerry Mulligan, Don Byron, and Roswell Rudd.

Recordings:
Loren Schoenberg and His Jazz Orchestra: 5 albums on Music Masters; Benny Carter: Harlem Renaissance, Central City Sketches; Jimmy Heath: Little Man Big Band; American Jazz Orchestra: Ellington Masterpieces, Tribute to Jimmie Lunceford; Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; Benny Goodman: Let's Dance;
Doc Cheatham, David Murray and Allan Lowe: Mental Strain At Dawn

Broadcasts and lectures:
Occasional host of "Jazz From The Archives" (Rutgers Institute Of Jazz Studies),and on-air host: wbgo-fm , Newark , 1984 - present
Host of "Tuesday's Out To Lunch", wkcr-fm, New York, 1982-90
Presented lectures at International Duke Ellington Conferences, Rutgers University, Newark 1985, Oldham, England, 1988. New York City, 1993.

Bibliography:
Publications:
Feature article (Miles Ahead) for New York Times Arts & Leisure section 1996
Produced, programmed and annotated "Benny Goodman - The Yale Recordings" (Musicmasters) 10 CD set
Contributed chapters:
East Of The Sun: The Musical Changes Of Lester Young; The Lester Young Reader, edited by Lewis Porter (Smithsonian Books), 1991
Setting the tempo: fifty years of great liner notes (pantheon books) 1996
Contributor, Annual Review Of Jazz Studies, (Rutgers Institute Of Jazz Studies/Scarecrow Press), 1987 to present
Publication (continued)
Liner notes for many albums, including:
RCA: Benny Goodman, Sonny Rollins, Bennie Moten, Ben Webster; Decca: Art Tatum, Chick Webb, Jay Mcshann, Charlie Barnet; Verve: Ben Webster, Dizzy Gillespie; Mosaic: Ike Quebec, Goodman, J.J. Johnson; Program Notes For Brooklyn Philharmonic And Smithsonian Institution; 1995 Grammy award winner for liner notes: Smithsonian Recordings, Louis Armstrong boxed set

Contact information:
fax: 718-884-7628 
phone: 718-884-8271
lorenschoenberg@mindspring.com

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