Born: January 3, 1941 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Roger Neumann is a Los Angeles-based jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger and music educator. He has contributed arrangements to some of the most important artists in jazz, including the Count Basie, Buddy Rich. Ray Anthony and Ray Charles bands, the Phil Norman Tentet, and Anita O'Day, as well as for such pop stars as The Beach Boys.
He is an active music educator at venues across the country. Since 1983 he has taught at the Reggie Schive Jazz Camp in Iowa, Since 2002 he has been a mentor for the L.A. Jazz Society, in its Bill Green Mentorship Program.
Neumann was born in 1941 in Minot, North Dakota, moved first to Akron, Ohio, then to Spencer, Iowa at age 4. He began playing a curved soprano saxopone at a young age, under the tutelage of his father, Hugo Neumann, a professional saxophonist/trombonist. The young Neumann later switched to tenor sax, and began playing with local dancebands at the age of 13. While enrolled as a student at Morningside College in Sioux City, he played and wrote arrangements for the Billy Redman Band, a 10-piece territory band. He also got valuable playing experience In Sioux City's prolific after-hours jazz clubs in the late 1950's and early 60's, After graduation from Morningside, Neumann toured with the Jack Gillespie Band from Minneapolis, and the Lee Castle/Jimmy Dorsey Band.
After teaching instrumental music in public schools for 2 1/2 years, Neumann enrolled in 1965 at the Berklee School of Music for two years. On the day after leaving Berklee, he joined Woody Herman's Band. Neumann is heard with that edition of the Herman band on the 1967 Concerto For Herd - live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, playing the tenor solo on Big Sur Echo.
Neumann settled in the Los Angeles area in the Spring of 1968.and has been featured with many bands, including Bob Crosby, Ray Anthony, Tex Beneke, Les Brown, Benny Carter, Peanuts Hucko, Bill Tole, Bill Elliott, Ray Templin's Chicagoans, the Phil Norman Tentet, and with jazz singing legend Anita O'Day.
In 1975, he formed his big band, “Roger Neumann's Rather Large Band,” consisting of the cream of the crop of West Coast jazz musicians. The band won immediate critical acclaim for two albums on the SeaBreeze Label, Introducing Roger Neumann's Rather Large Band (1983), and Instant Heat (1994). All of the arrangements were by Neumann. Neumann's hard-driving arrangements for the Rather Large Band were executed by such veteran sidemen as Hernan Riley, Bob Enevoldsen, Bob Hardaway, Herbie Harper, and John Heard.
Neumann is married to singer Madeline Vergari, who recorded the CD entitled This Is My Lucky Day! with Roger's band and his arrangements.
In 2002, Neumann won the LA Jazz Society's Award as Jazz Composer/Arranger Of the Year. He appeared with the Benny Carter Tribute Band a year later alongside some of the most distinguished players in jazz. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Morningside College.
Santa Clarita, CA
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students