Randy Klein

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Randy Klein
Born (1949-09-09) September 9, 1949 (age 69)
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresPiano, Pop, Rock, R&B, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Choral Music, Educational, New Age
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, pianist, author, educator
InstrumentsPiano, Keyboard
Years active1964 – present
LabelsJazzheads
Associated actsMillie Jackson, Candi Staton, Sarah Dash, Alex Skolnick
Websiterandyklein.com

Randy Klein (born September 9, 1949) is an American musician, composer, pianist, author, and educator.[1]

Music career[edit]

Klein was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and grew up in Union City and Fort Lee. At 14, he performed with local rock group The Good Things and played in the Fort Lee High School marching band.[2] He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1967 to 1971. He taught at Berklee from 1971 to 1973 under the supervision of John LaPorta.[3] He performed with singer-songwriter Ralph Graham until 1976.

In 1977, he moved to New York City and played keyboard for legendary R&B performer Millie Jackson. Klein toured with Jackson until 1980, contributing songs for her albums including Feelin' Bitchy, Get It Out'cha System, Live & Uncensored, E.S.P. (Extra Sexual Persuasion), For Men Only.[4] Since 1981, he has contributed songs to albums by Sarah Dash, Candi Staton, IRT, Memphis Bleek, JX, Black Sheep, Lil Kim, and PBS television programs Ticktock Minutes and Sesame Street.[5][6]

In 1992, Klein founded Jazzheads, an independent music label based in New York City. To date, the label has a catalog of 100+ titles with Grammy nominations, Downbeat Critics awards, and Jazz Journalist awards.[7] He has released multiple solo piano improvisation recordings, and two albums consisting of duo performances with saxophonist Oleg Kireyev, trombonist Chris Washburne, electric bass guitarist Boris Koslov, and guitarist Alex Skolnick.[8][9]

He is the winner of Gold Records for songs recorded by Polydor recording artist Millie Jackson. He has won four Southern Regional Emmy Awards - "Outstanding Achievement: Individual Excellence - Composer" for his original score to the PBS film-documentary Richard Wright (Black Boy), and three "Outstanding Collaborative Achievement - Composer" awards for his work on Ticktock Minutes (PBS).[10] Ticktock Minutes also won the 1998 National Emmy Award for Best Public Service Announcement.[11]

In 2017, his composition Fanfare For Jerusalem premiered at The Metropolitan Opera.[12] He is the composer of For My People, a song cycle featuring the poetry of American author Margaret Walker.[13] His compositions, Facing It (based on the poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa) and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (based on the poetry of Michael Harper) premiered at the 2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conference featuring the combined James Madison University and Morgan State Chorales.[14]

His documentary film scores include: National Emmy Award winner Free To Dance (PBS Great Performances) and National Emmy Award winner Beyond Tara – The Extraordinary Life Of Hattie McDaniel (American Movie Classics) and Richard Wright – Black Boy (PBS/BBC production).[15] His music can be heard at the Burial Ground Museum in lower Manhattan and at the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC.

His musical theater works include composing music for Fancy Nancy ‘Splendiferous’ Christmas (based on the popular Fancy Nancy book series by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser) at the Vital Musical Theatre, NYC 2014 – 2016, Music for Twinkle Tames A Dragon at the Vital Musical Theatre (based on the children's book series by Katharine Holabird), NYC 2016 – 2017.[16] He wrote music to Flambe Dreams, which has been performed in readings and workshops since 2006, and Ever Happily After – 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).[17]

In 2017, Klein authored The Quickstart Guide to Writing a Song, an educational manual on songwriting.[18] He has also been published by American Songwriter Magazine (The Star Spangled Banner Is Not A Song, Or Is It?), and Music Alive magazine (Can You Ear It?).[19]

Discography[edit]

  • While I Was Waiting (1986)
  • Spacial Glacier (1986)
  • Randy Klein's Jazzheads (1993)
  • Love Notes From The Bass with Harvie Swartz (1994)
  • Underground Romantic (1998)
  • Just My Imagination (1998)
  • Invitation In (2004)
  • Piano Christmas! (2005)
  • The Flowing (2008)
  • Sunday Morning with Chris Washburne and Oleg Kireyev (2010)
  • What's Next with Alex Skolnick and Boris Kozlov (2012)
  • Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas Original Cast Album (2015)
  • Kleinway@Steinway (2016)

Selected credits[edit]

  • Millie Jackson - Feelin' Bitchy (Southbound, 1977)
  • Millie Jackson - Get It Out'cha System (Spring Records, 1978)
  • Candi Staton - Candi Staton (Warner Bros., 1980)
  • Millie Jackson - For Men Only (Polydor, 1980)
  • Millie Jackson - E.S.P. (Extra Sexual Persuasion) (Spring/Polydor, 1983)
  • Mud, Sweat, and Jeers - Every Dawg Has Its Day (RCA, 1985)
  • IRT - Watch The Closing Doors (RCA/Victor, 1985)
  • IRT - Made In The USA (RCA/Victor, 1985)
  • IRT - When Bad Things Happen (RCA/Victor, 1985)
  • Sarah Dash - You're All I Need (EMI, 1988)
  • Black Sheep - A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing (Mercury, 1991)
  • Sesame Street - Rhyming Tap Rap featuring Savion Glover (PBS, 1991)
  • JX - Close To Your Heart (Motor Music, 1997)
  • Millie Jackson - Totally Unrestricted! the Millie Jackson Anthology (Rhino Records, 1997)
  • Ticktock Minutes (PBS, 1995-2001)
  • Millie Jackson - Sex And Soul (House Of Hits/BMG, 2000)
  • Memphis Bleek - 534 (Roc-A-Fella, 2005)
  • Lil' Kim - The Naked Truth (Atlantic, 2005)
  • Michael Earl Sings Songs About Famous People (King Kozmo, 2015)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Randy Klein Music". randyklein.com.
  2. ^ Reich, Ronni. "New York Musical Theatre Festival: Three Jersey artists offer something different", The Star-Ledger, July 7, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2018. "Randy Klein, who grew up in Union City and Fort Lee, appeared at the festival last year with Flambé Dreams, a kitchen comedy.... Klein honed his musicianship in the Fort Lee High School marching band and got a taste for theater from Broadway shows he would see with his mother, including Fiddler on the Roof with Zero Mostel and Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing."
  3. ^ "Alum Notes | Berklee College of Music". www.berklee.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  4. ^ "Millie Jackson : Songwriter Interviews". www.songfacts.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  5. ^ Waring, Charles. "Call Me 'Mr ECLECTIC' - versatile pianist/composer RANDY KLEIN talks to SJF". www.soulandjazzandfunk.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  6. ^ "Bio". Randy Klein. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  7. ^ "Jazzheads, Independent Record Label". jazzheads.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  8. ^ "Randy Klein Writes His Way, One Genre at a Time". BMI.com. 2011-09-21. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  9. ^ Jazz, All About. "Randy Klein's Two Duos: What's Next?". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  10. ^ "ETV'S "Dr. Ticktock" captures Emmy award. (Southern Scrapbook). - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  11. ^ Ticktock Minutes, Latoryah Alexander, Michael Earl, retrieved 2017-10-17
  12. ^ "Metropolitan Opera | HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir". www.metopera.org. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  13. ^ "Composer and pianist Randy Klein will bring For My People: The Margaret Walker Song Cycle to JSU for Birthday Celebration. | Jackson State Newsroom". www.jsumsnews.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  14. ^ Mott, Karen Risch. "Furious Flower Poetry Conference". www.jmu.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  15. ^ "Composer & Musician Randy Klein Awarded Simons Fellowship - JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  16. ^ Graeber, Laurel (2014-12-19). "Spare Times for Children for Dec. 19-25". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  17. ^ "Musical Theatre". Randy Klein. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  18. ^ "Quickstart Guide To Songwriting". youcanwriteasong.net. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  19. ^ "The Star Spangled Banner Is Not A Song, or Is It? « American Songwriter". American Songwriter. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2017-10-17.

External links[edit]