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 Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra from its inception in 1988 through 1994, Berger has transcribed over 750 full scores of classic recordings, including more than 500 works by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in addition to hundreds of other classic jazz recordings. Several of these transcriptions in addition to a number of original arrangements are featured in the recent Broadway hit, After Midnight.
In 1996 Berger collaborated with choreographer Donald Byrd to create and tour the Harlem Nutcracker, a full-length two-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 as the David Berger Jazz Orchestra. The DBJO actively performs Berger’s music on tours throughout the United States and Europe.
Berger has written music for symphony orchestras, television, Broadway shows and films and has composed and arranged for Duke Ellington, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Quincy Jones and the WDR Big Band. He has also arranged for dozens of singers including
Jon Hendricks, Betty Carter, Freda Payne, Natalie Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Madeleine Peyroux, Milt Grayson, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Susan Graham, Denzal Sinclaire and Champian Fulton.
Berger has taught jazz arranging and composition for 30 years in the New York City area at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, The New School, William Paterson University among others.
Residing in New York City, Berger is currently composing two musical comedy shows and is the arranger and musical director for Apollo Club Harlem; which has starred Maurice Hines, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Kevin Mahogany and Margot Bingham.