The Sultans of Swing
Acclaimed for their superior musicianship and a sound that is both
sophisticated and earthy, the SULTANS OF SWING create a natural bridge from the great bands of the 1930s and ‘40s to the hep cats of 21st century swing
audiences. This 16-piece band includes experienced veterans of the
world-renowned orchestras of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton along with fiery young jazz musicians.
Director David Berger’s compositions and arrangements have garnered the band a diverse list of performance credits coast to coast, from premier swing venues like The Derby (L.A.), the Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR) and Swing 46, Irving Plaza, the 92nd Street Y and Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in New York, to jazz festivals like Jazz on the River (Hood River, OR), to The Harlem Nutcracker and Ellington: In a Different Light (Donald Byrd/The Group) and the New York City Ballet. Berger and the Sultans maintain a close
relationship with Quincy Jones who has conducted them in New York, Los
Angeles, and Paris.
The Sultans of Swing:
Conductor: David Berger
Reeds: Jerry Dodgion, Matt Hong, Dan Block, Mark Hynes, Jay Brandford
Trumpets: Bob Millikan, Brian Pareschi, Irv Grossman, Steven Bernstein
Trombones: Wayne Goodman, Pat Hallaran, Noah Bless
Piano: Isaac ben Ayala
Bass: Dennis Irwin
Drums: Jimmy Madison
Vocalist: Aria Hendricks
Jazz composer, arranger and conductor 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
In 1996 Berger collaborated with choreographer Donald Byrd to create theHarlem Nutcracker, a full-length 2-hour dance piece that expands the
Tchaikovsky/Ellington/Strayhorn score into an American classic. The 15-piece
band assembled to play this show has stayed together and continues to play
Mr. Berger’s music for listeners and swing dancers all over the United States
and Europe. The Sultans of Swing featuring vocalist Aria Hendricks have issued 2 CDs out and carry on the tradition of the great bands of the 1930’s and
‘40’s bringing swinging jazz to a new generation.
Berger has written music for television, Broadway shows, includingSophisticated 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. He maintains a close association with Wynton Marsalis through collaborations for Jazz @ Lincoln Center, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting System and Columbia Records. Berger’s expertise in arranging and performing Ellington’s music brought him to the attention of Quincy Jones with whom he continues to
work on several projects per year.
Berger's jazz compositions and arrangements and transcriptions are played
by hundreds of bands every day all over the world. A seven-time recipient of
National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Berger resides in New York City
where he teaches at the Juilliard School.
David Berger and the Sultans of Swing can be heard on Such Sweet Thunder recordings. They can
also be found online at www.sultansofswing.com.