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Swing Music Net Biography
David Berger
Modern day Jazz arranger, composer, transcriber, educator, and conductor David Berger
David Berger
Modern day jazz scholar and musician helps pass baton of real jazz to a new generation
One of the leading authorities on Duke Ellington's music makes jazz his passion and life as professor, arranger and bandleader
David Berger
Berger, David
composer, bandleader, arranger, educator, trumpet
Born; New York City, NY., 3-30-1948
A living legend
Jazz Radio Audio
The live feed of our Tuesday jazz music radio show streaming online at 4:00 PM Pacific with a focus on the history of jazz music and jazz music that swings from the 1930s to today.

Our Jazz Radio Show Info Page
The sordid history of our jazz music radio show, est. 1985. Lends credence to the theory that FCC radio deregulation survival may be linked to narcissistically twisted disorders.

History Of Jazz Part 1
Early hot jazz bands, the hotel dance bands and the history of jazz music leading up to the Big Band era.

History Of Jazz Part II
The role of economics, early recording technology, and radio relative to jazz history and the Big Band era.

The Recording Ban Of 1942
Scans of a 1942 Down Beat magazine article detailing a dramatic event in jazz history during the Big Band era; the James Petrillo / AFM recording ban.

Webb Cuts Basie At The Savoy
Another of the many jazz magazine articles on the site detailing big events in jazz history. This piece recounts the Count Basie vs. Chick Webb big band music Battle Of Swing held at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom in January of 1938.

David Berger began playing trumpet in his youth. He studied at Berklee College Of Music in the early 1960s and furthered his musical education, in composing and arranging, at Ithaca College, the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. Berger continued to work on his trumpet playing skills with musicians such as Jimmy Maxwell and by the early 70s he was playing in New York City in bands led by Maxwell, Lee Castle and Mercer Ellington. He also spent time with Chuck Israels' National Jazz Ensemble.

David Berger is recognized internationally as a leading authority on the music of Duke Ellington and the Swing era. Conductor and arranger for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, from its inception in 1988 through 1994, Berger has transcribed more than 500 full scores of classic recordings including over 350 works by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

In 1996 Berger collaborated with choreographer Donald Byrd to create the Harlem Nutcracker, a full-length 2-hour dance piece, that expanded the Tchaikovsky/Ellington/Strayhorn score into an American classic. Berger's added touches to the piece extended Ellington's and Strayhorn's work to nearly four times its original length. The new opus, performed by Berger's Sultans Of Swing band, received rave reviews wherever it was performed, including concerts in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and for three successive years in Detroit.

Berger has written music for television and Broadway shows, including Sophisticated Ladies; films, including The Cotton Club and Brighton Beach Memoirs; dozens of singers, bands, orchestras and dance companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by many noted bands and musicians including the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis big band, Lee Konitz, Buddy Rich, Clark Terry, Stanley Turrentine and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He maintains a close association with Wynton Marsalis through continued collaborations on projects for Jazz At The Lincoln Center, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting System and Columbia Records.

In addition to the aforementioned Nutcracker Suite, Berger's Sultan's Of Swing band can also be heard performing his highly imaginative arrangements of standards, originals, and covers on the 1998 release Doin' The Do. Legendary saxophonist Jerry Dodgian can be heard to good advantage within the frameworks of the 15-piece big band on this outing and female vocalist Arial Hendricks, the daughter of vocalist and songwriter Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross fame, shines along with the entire band.

In March of 2000 San Francisco Bay Area band Lavay Smith And Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers released an album called "Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout Miss Thing!" The album featured several Berger arrangements including the title track. Several more arrangements of cover tunes for the release were transcribed by Berger. The production shocked the jazz world by becoming one of the top 25 best-selling jazz albums for the entire year 2000.

A seven-time recipient of National Endowment For The Arts fellowships, Berger resides in New York City. He is a sought-after musical educator and has taught at numerous learning academies including the Hartt College of Music, New York's The New School, William Patterson College, and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2001, he was appointed Professor of Composition and Arranging for the new Jazz Studies Program at Juilliard School of Music.

For more information on this largely overlooked educator, conductor, and composer of modern day jazz and swing music, or to buy Sultans Of Swing releases, please visit www.sultansofswing.com.

Ray Charles Biography
Known as "The Genius" Ray Charles recorded a wide variety of music but got his start playing big band music and jazz. He passed away 6-10-04.

Barney Kessel Biography
The jazz guitar great died May 6th, 2004 and left behind a vast body of recorded jazz work.

Benny Carter Biography
Benny Carter was one of the greatest arrangers and jazz musicians the genre has ever known. This extensive biography spans the entire lengthy career of the jazz legend.

Billy May Biography
The trumpeter, bandleader, composer and arranger died Jan. 22, 2004. May wrote many Swing Era classics for Glenn Miller and Charlie Barnet and later for Sinatra and Nat Cole.

Count Basie Biography
Our biography of Count Basie traces the career of "the kid from Red Bank" through Kansas City and into the later stages of his life as a bandleader.

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