Ken Schaphorst is a composer, performer, and educator currently chairing the Jazz Studies and Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Before moving to Boston in 2001, Schaphorst served as Director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin for ten years. Schaphorst is also a founding member of the Jazz Composers Alliance, a Boston-based non-profit corporation promoting new music in the jazz idiom since 1985. Born in Abington, Pennsylvania on May 24, 1960, Schaphorst has studied at Swarthmore College, New England Conservatory, and Boston University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts in 1990. His composition teachers have included Thomas Oboe Lee, Gerald Levinson, William Thomas McKinley, and Bernard Rands. Schaphorst has released six recordings as a leader: Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Making Lunch (1989), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: After Blue (1991), Ken Schaphorst Ensemble: When the Moon Jumps (1994), Ken Schaphorst: Over the Rainbow (1997), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Purple (1999) and Ken Schaphorst: Indigenous Technology
Schaphorst has been awarded Composition Fellowships from the National
Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and 1991, the Wisconsin Arts Board in 1997,
Meet the Composer Grants in 1987 and 1997, and was a Music Composition
Finalist in the Massachusetts Fellowship Program in 1986.
“Schaphorst's charts preserve the best of the past while looking fearlessly ahead
to the future.” —Boston Phoenix