Shelly Berg


Shelly Berg is known for his collaborations with jazz vocalists, and he has performed, recorded and arranged for Patti Austin, Nancy Wilson, Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Monica Mancini, Dionne Warwick, Tierney Sutton, Lorraine Feather and Carmen Bradford. Shelly maintains a busy, worldwide schedule of jazz festival and club performances, and has performed and/or recorded with a “Who’s Who” of jazz legends including Ray Brown, Louie Bellson, Eddie Daniels, Peter Erskine, Jon Faddis, Woody Herman, James Moody, Arturo Sandoval, Tom Scott, Clark Terry and Bill Watrous, to name a few. Dave Brubeck raves, “Shelly Berg is a great jazz pianist who has a total command of his instrument.”

Shelly’s composing and orchestrating for television includes ABC’s Fudge, CBS’s A League of Their Own, and HBO’s Dennis Miller Live. He has orchestrated for Chicago, Kiss, Carole King, Richard Marx, Joe Cocker, Elliott Smith, Lou Rawls, Steve Miller, and most recently was a featured orchestrator on Ray Sings, Basie Swings (a Ray Charles/Count Basie Orchestra collaboration) and Arturo Sandoval’s A Time for Love (Concord). Film orchestration work includes Warner Bros.’s Almost Heroes and For Your Consideration, Fox’s Men of Honor, and the NBC mini-series The ’60s. He has written for the Royal Philharmonic, the American Symphony, and orchestras worldwide. Shelly composed the theme song to the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival, and orchestrated Anniversary Concerto for the 10th anniversary of the Emperor’s coronation.

His orchestrations are called “magnificent. . . incredible” by Johnny Mandel. A Steinway piano artist, Shelly Berg is the Dean of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. He was previously the McCoy/Sample Professor of Jazz Studies at the USC Thornton School of Music where he was on faculty for 16 years. He is a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and was honored as the 2003 “Educator of the Year” by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. In 2002, Shelly was the recipient of the IAJE Lawrence Berk Leadership Award and in 2000 the Los Angeles Times named him one of three “Educators for the Millennium.”

Shelly was a finalist in the 1988 Great American Jazz Piano Competition and has appeared as a performer and lecturer throughout the United States as well as in Canada, China, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Japan, Romania and Venezuela. Shelly Berg has numerous compositions for jazz ensemble in publication, and his texts include the Chop-Monster improvisation series, Rhythm Section Workshop for Jazz Directors, Essentials of Jazz Theory (Alfred Publishing), and Jazz Improvisation: The Goal-Note Method (Kendor Music). He has also recorded over 30 disks for the Yamaha Disklavier piano.