About Randy Klein

About Randy Klein

Randy Klein is a multi-award-winning composer, pianist, record producer, author and music educator.

He is the composer of For My People, a song cycle featuring the poetry of American author, Margaret Walker. For My People was featured at the Furious Flower Poetry Festival at James Madison University and the University of Kansas. The music premiere of the renowned poem by Margaret Walker ‘For My People’ was April 2, 2011 at the Forbes Center for the Arts, James Madison University, VA. His compositions, Facing It and Dear John, Dear Coltrane, based on the poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa and Michael Harper premiered at the 2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conference featuring the combined James Madison University and Morgan State Chorales. The world premiere of his composition Fanfare For Jerusalem took place at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center March 2017, Rose Hall, Jazz At Lincoln Center, May 2017 and in Jerusalem, Israel, June 2017. His new concert work Brockton will had its world premiere April 2018, performed by the Brockton High School Advanced Concert Band.

His documentary film scores include: National Emmy winner Free To Dance (PBS Great Performances) and National Emmy winner Beyond Tara – The Extraordinary Life Of Hattie McDaniel (American Movie Classics) and Richard Wright – Black Boy (PBS/BBC production). 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 Move!, a dance musical commissioned by the Royal Theatre Carre', Amsterdam (premiered April, 1992); I Don't Do Club Dates, staged reading at the Victory Theater September, 1991 by the National Musical Theater Network and at the John Harms Center for the Arts, Englewood, NJ, January 1994; and Capture The Moon, based on the Eastern European folklore stories of the Wise Men of Chelm. In 1989, I Don't Do Club Dates earned Randy a BMI Foundation grant for artistic promise in theater composition; Falling Apart, a chamber musical utilizing elements of both musical theater and the jazz concert; Bucky And His Friends, a full-length contemporary vaudeville show for stage, video and CD; Flambe’ Dreams, (an original musical about a man who dreams of becoming a great maitre'd. Flambe’ Dreams has been performed in readings and workshops from 2006-present at: 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), The BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, BMI Showcase, Musical Mondays at the Jerry Orbach Theatre, TRU readings , Groundup Productions, and The York Theatre. Ever Happily After – 2013 New York Musical Theatre (NYMF). Music for Fancy Nancy ‘Splendiferous’ Christmas at the Vital Musical Theatre, NYC 2014 – 2016, Music for Twinkle Tames A Dragon at the Vital Musical Theatre, NYC 2016 – 2017.

His musical, Black Swan Blues, in collaboration with Joan Ross Sorkin, bookwriter and lyricist, inspired by the ballet “Swan Lake,”. Black Swan Blues explores white privilege and racism in America in the South in the early 1960’s. Set in New Orleans, a rich, idealistic journalist and a poor, vulnerable blues singer’s true love is challenged when secrets from their tangled past involving race, murder and the Ku Klux Klan are revealed. Only through the magic of voodoo do they find eternal love. The score is timeless and contemporary evoking the period.

Randy Klein

In development is Speak, a musical about communicating with the other side, and a folk-opera, Jubilee, based on the award-winning best seller by author, Margaret Walker and a long-awaited recording of his jazz songbook featuring an ‘A’ list of jazz luminaries.

He was awarded the 2016 Scholars on Site award from the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas for his theatrical work Jubilee, based on the novel by Margaret Walker. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Simons Public Humanities Fellowship at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas for the 2011-2012 academic year. He is the recipient of the 2009 BMI Foundation Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre. His song cycle, For My People won the 2009 CAP Grant sponsored by the American Music Center. He is the winner of four Southern Regional Emmy Awards: 1996 - for the original score to the 90 minute film-documentary titled Richard Wright - Black Boy PPS/BBC. He won the 1998, 1999 and 2002 Southern Regional Emmy Awards in the category of "Outstanding Collaborative Achievement for Composer" for his work on Ticktock Minutes (PBS). Ticktock Minutes is the winner of the 1999 National Emmy Award for Best Public Service Announcement. He has been nominated for a 1998 and 2010 Jerry Boch Award for his theater composition. He is the winner of the USA Songwriting Competition 2005 in the Jazz category and top two in the overall category for his composition Data. He is the winner of gold records for songs recorded by Polydor recording artist Millie Jackson, and composed and produced the dance hit Watch The Closing Doors for the RCA group IRT. He has had songs recorded by Candy Staton, Sarah Dash (formerly of LaBelle), the rap group Black Sheep, Memphis Bleak, and Sesame Street.

His published works include: Songwriting Resolutions (In Tune Monthly), January 2018, Quickstart Guide To Songwriting (AuthorHouse Publishing), September 2017, The Star Spangled Banner Is Not A Song, or Is It?(American Songwriter Magazine), April 2013. He developed the educational cartoon series, Can You Ear It? to assist middle and high school teachers with instruction in music fundamentals. Published monthly in Music Alive magazine (Cherry Lane Publications, 11/1998-5/2001). His presentations on music and the business of music are regular features at: JEN (Jazz Educational Network), APME (Association for Popular Music Educators) and ISIM (The International Society for Improvising Musicians).

As a pianist Randy has recorded the following: Randy Klein’s Jazzheads (Jazzheads), Underground Romantic (Jazzheads), Just My Imagination (Slider Music) and Love Notes From The Bass (Jazzheads), Broadway Remembers (Main Street Productions), How Sweet It Is, Rock-A-Bye Baby, Baby’s First Birthday, Animal Songs(Rock Candy Music), Invitation In (Jazzheads), Piano Christmas (Jazzheads) and The Flowing (Jazzheads), [email protected] (Jazzheads).

Other projects in development are: Kenny Keys – Keyboard Recordings – Single releases ongoing, and Ambient Spaces, a live multimedia event featuring the marriage of sound, light and improvisation - a canvas of sound and image within a constantly evolving physical environment influenced by performers and audience.

Randy Klein’s jazz composition project, Two Duos received rave reviews for the releases of the CD Sunday Morning, May 2010, featuring trombonist Chris Washburne and Russian saxophonist Oleg Kireyev performing with Randy Klein on piano. The duos are sensitive duets designed to feature each of these esteemed soloists. Composed specifically for each performer, the project continues to expand to include other great improvising soloists. The second Two Duos release titled, What’s Next?, October 2012, features Grammy winning bassist, Boris Kozlov and rock/jazz guitarist, Alex Skolnick, also with excellent reviews. He has performed at venues such as Birdland, Klavierhaus, Trumpets, and the historic Union of Composers Club (Moscow). Randy’s music has also been featured at many Jazz and music educational conventions in Chicago, New Orleans, New York and at the Berklee Performance Center.

He is the president of Jazzheads Music Group, an independent music label. He is a long-time member of the advanced BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, The Dramatists Guild, ISIM (International Society of Improvising Musicians), NARAS, JEN (Jazz Education Network), APME (Association for Popular Music Educators), an alumnus of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a music educator conducting clinics on music and the business of music. He has a long list of private students. He is a songwriting coach at SongU.com. Randy Klein is an Exclusive Steinway Artist.