Ken Schaphorst (born May 24, 1960 in Abington, Pennsylvania) is a composer, performer, and educator currently chairing the Jazz Studies and Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Before moving to Boston in 2001, Schaphorst served as Director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin for ten years. Schaphorst is also a founding member of the Jazz Composers Alliance, a Boston-based non-profit corporation promoting new music in the jazz idiom since 1985. Schaphorst studied at Swarthmore College, New England Conservatory of Music, and Boston University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts in 1990. His composition teachers have included Thomas Oboe Lee, Gerald Levinson, William Thomas McKinley and Bernard Rands. Schaphorst was awarded Composition Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and 1991, the Wisconsin Arts Board in 1997, Meet the Composer Grants in 1987 and 1997, and was a Music Composition Finalist in the Massachusetts Fellowship Program in 1986. Schaphorst has released six recordings as a leader: Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Making Lunch (1989), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: After Blue (1991), Ken Schaphorst Ensemble: When the Moon Jumps (1994), Ken Schaphorst: Over the Rainbow (1997), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Purple (1999) and Ken Schaphorst: Indigenous Technology (2002).
- Kernfeld, Barry (ed.) (2003) "Schaphorst, Kenneth William" The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd rev.) Oxford University Press, Oxford, ISBN 1-56159-284-6