Jack Waldman

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Jack Waldman
Background information
Birth name Jack Howard Waldman
Born (1952-09-06)September 6, 1952
Metuchen, New Jersey
Died May 17, 1986(1986-05-17) (aged 33)
New York City
Genres rock, jazz, electronic, funk
Occupation(s) Instrumentalist
record producer
Instruments keyboards, synthesizer, bassoon, saxophone, flute, vocals
Years active 1974–1986
Associated acts Robert Palmer, Air Force 1, Whitney Houston, Billy Idol

Jack Waldman (September 6, 1952 – May 17, 1986) was a jazz and rock musician, composer, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Waldman was best known for his studio work and performances with singer Robert Palmer, and also worked with artists such as Billy Idol, Madonna, Rob Hegel, Joe Jackson, Foreigner and Whitney Houston. He was classically trained from childhood, and played keyboards, synthesizer, bassoon, saxophone and flute. He died in 1986 from HIV-related lymphoma.

Personal history[edit]

Jack Waldman was born September 6, 1952 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and grew up in Metuchen, New Jersey. He began classical piano lessons at the age of five, and had perfect pitch. In his teenage years, Waldman switched his focus from classical to jazz piano, studying with Morris Nanton. After attending Metuchen High School, which created the Jack Waldman Memorial Scholarship in his honor,[1] Waldman studied at Rutgers College, The Juilliard School of Music and Livingston College between 1970 and 1974. Waldman graduated in 1974 with a BA in Music from Rutgers. After college, he relocated to New York City, where he remained until his death in 1986 from HIV-related lymphoma. [2]

Music career[edit]

After relocating to New York in 1974, Waldman met and performed with jazz guitarist Joe Beck. He quickly became a prolific studio musician, playing keyboards and synthesizer with well-known artists and producing remixes for single releases. Concurrently, Waldman worked on a number of independent musical projects, including Tornader with Larry Alexander, and the more noteworthy Air Force 1 with Elliot Sokolov. Waldman and Sokolov co-wrote and produced "See the Light / Feel the Heat," released in 1984 on Streetwise records,[3] in which they sampled public domain clips of then-president Ronald Reagan. The piece, also known as the "Ronald Reagan Rap," was one of the earliest records featuring entirely sampled vocals.[4] In 1984, MTV aired a video promotion for the piece.[4] Early in his career, Waldman began recording and performing with rock artist Robert Palmer. Waldman's first release with Palmer was Secrets in 1979, and they continued working together throughout the 1980s.[5] Waldman also worked with more avant-garde performance artists, including Klaus Nomi. He did arrangements for Nomi, who mixed synth-driven new wave, 1920s German cabaret music, disco and opera.[6] Other noteworthy artists with whom Waldman worked include Gloria Gaynor, Joe Jackson, Billy Idol, Rob Hegel, Foreigner, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, and Whitney Houston.[5]


Appears on:[5][7]


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