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The All Music Guide says “SHELLY BERG is one of the finest pianists around in the early 21st century playing modern mainstream jazz.” Shelly’s 2005 CD Blackbird (Concord Records) reached No. 1 in U.S. jazz radio (Jazzweek) and garnered Record of the Year and Artist of the Year nominations. He was a finalist in the 1988 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Shelly is known for collaborations with jazz vocalists, having performed, recorded, and arranged for Patti Austin, Monica Mancini, Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Dionne Warwick, Tierney Sutton, Lorraine Feather, and Carmen Bradford. He appears worldwide in jazz festival and clubs, and he has performed and/or recorded with a “who’s who” of jazz legends, including Ray Brown, Louie Bellson, Eddie Daniels, Peter Erskine, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, and Bill Watrous, to name a few. Recent recordings include a solo CD, The Nearness of You (Arbors), and a duo with Dick Hyman entitled Meeting of Minds (Victoria).
Shelly’s composing and orchestrating for television includes ABC’s Fudge, CBS’ 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 the album Ray Sings, Basie Swings (Concord Records’ Ray Charles and Count Basie collaboration). Film orchestration work includes Warner Bros.’ 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 Berg is the Dean of the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and previously held the McCoy/Sample professorship of Jazz Studies at USC’s Thornton School of Music. He is a past President of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and was the 2003 “Educator of the Year,” as named by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. In 2002, Shelly was the recipient of the IAJE Lawrence Berk Leadership Award. In 2000, the Los Angeles Times named him one of three “Educators for the Millennium.”