546

Take Five With Andy Farber

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Meet Andy Farber:

Andy Farber is an award-winning jazz composer, arranger and saxophonist and has spent years performing with the likes of Jon Hendricks and Wynton Marsalis. Since 1994, Farber has been part of the Jazz @ Lincoln Center stable of writers and performers.

Through J@LC, Farber has toured with the J@LC Orchestra, written originals compositions and arrangements and been a guest artistic director. Farber has written arrangements for people like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, Bobby Short, Ann Hampton Calloway, Frankie Laine, Alan Harris, Cynthia Scott, Billy Stritch, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Joe Piscopo, Joe Cocker, George Benson, Robert Downey Jr, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Judd, Fantasia, Ernestine Anderson, Vanessa Williams, and Roseanna Vitro.

Farber's arrangements have been performed by The Boston Pops Orchestra, the Philly Pops Orchestra, the Boca Pops Orchestra and several symphony orchestras throughout Europe. Farber has been a guest conductor of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, and, in 2004, made his symphonic conducting debut with the Bronx Arts Ensemble. In April 2010, Farber was the guest music director for Jazz @ Lincoln Center's "The Music of Fats Waller." His work as an arranger, conductor and instrumentalist can be heard on numerous recordings, commercials and television/film scores.

As a leader, Farber leads an eight-piece band (Andy Farber & His Swing Mavens) and a 17-piece big band, Andy Farber & His Orchestra. The orchestra enjoyed a two-year residency at Birdland in NYC. A new CD with the orchestra is due out in the fall of 2010.

When he's not playing jazz, Farber composes music for TV and film and is a staff composer at Duotone Audio Group. Farber also teaches jazz composition and arranging at The Juilliard School in New York City.

Instrument(s):

Saxophones, clarinet, flute, arranger.

Teachers and/or influences? Saxophone teachers and/or mentors: Budd Johnson, Chris Woods, Arnie Lawrence, Billy Mitchell and Jesse Farb.

Composing/arranging teachers and/or mentors: David Berger, Mitch Farber, Carl Strommen, Mike Abene.

Influences: Arranging/composition: Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ernie Wilkins, Mary Lou Williams, Benny Carter, Quincy Jones, Thad Jones, Tadd Dameron, Neal Hefti, Billy Byers, Marion Evans, Jimmy Mundy, Gerald Wilson, Al Cohn, Sy Oliver, Don Redman, Skain, Fletcher Henderson, Frank Wess, Gerry Mulligan, Clare Fischer, Don Costa, Billy May, Oliver Nelson, Janice "Ms. JJ" Johnson, many others;

Saxophone: Hawk, Prez, Bird, Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Don Byas, Lucky Thompson, Zoot Sims, Paul Gonsalves, Gene Ammons, Johnny Hodges, Frank Wess, Billy "the Sloth" Mitchell, Budd Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Jim Pepper (yes, that's right!) John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Wardell, Stan Getz, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jackie McLean, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Sonny Red Kyner, Hank, Charlie Mariano, Marshal Royal, Skeets Herfurt, Willie Smith, Jerry Dodgion, Jerome Richardson, got to stop now...getting tired!

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I was four years old.

Your sound and approach to music:

Play and write music that is fun to play and write. As long as you're true to yourself, don't worry about what other people think.

Favorite venue:

Birdland, NYC!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

The latest one because it's the new baby.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

I had grown up with my father's jazz record collection of classic albums of the '50s and '60s. The first record I bought with my own money was Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth.

CDs you are listening to now:

Dan Block, Dan Block Plays the Music of Duke Ellington: From His World to Mine (Miles High Records);

Sherman Irby Quartet, Live at the Otto Club (Black Warrior Records);

Ernie Wilkins, Top Brass and Trumpets All Out (Fresh Sound).

Desert Island picks:

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, Such Sweet Thunder (Columbia);

Donald Byrd, Blackjack (Blue Note);

Count Basie, April in Paris (Verve);

Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt, Boss Tenors (Verve);

Ernie Wilkins, The Everest Years (Empire Music Group Inc).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I wouldn't dare say.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Don't forget to swing and play the blues.

What is in the near future?

About to start a "two tenors" record with Dan Block. (Tribute to Zoot and Al) Next big band project will be jazz arrangements of Louis M. Gottschalk music.

By Day:

Staff composer at Duotone Audio Group. I also teach jazz composition and arranging at the Juilliard School.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

classical musician?


Photo Credit

Courtesy of Andy Farber

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Take Five With Sylvia Brooks Take Five With... Take Five With Sylvia Brooks
by Sylvia Brooks
Published: October 1, 2017
Read Take Five with Debora Galan Take Five With... Take Five with Debora Galan
by Debora Galan
Published: September 17, 2017
Read Take Five with Ralph Hepola Take Five With... Take Five with Ralph Hepola
by Ralph Hepola
Published: August 28, 2017
Read Take Five with Dave Potter Take Five With... Take Five with Dave Potter
by David Potter
Published: August 24, 2017
Read Take Five with Hayley Lam Take Five With... Take Five with Hayley Lam
by Hayley Lam
Published: August 3, 2017
Read Take Five with Vincent Eury Take Five With... Take Five with Vincent Eury
by Vincent Eury
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Take Five with Sergio Pamies" Take Five With... Take Five with Sergio Pamies
by Sergio Pamies
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Take Five with Maurice Brown" Take Five With... Take Five with Maurice Brown
by Maurice Brown
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Take Five with Ralph Hepola" Take Five With... Take Five with Ralph Hepola
by Ralph Hepola
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Take Five with Sherry-Lynn Lee and George Paolini of 23rd Hour" Take Five With... Take Five with Sherry-Lynn Lee and George Paolini of 23rd...
by 23rd Hour
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Take Five with Brian Kastan" Take Five With... Take Five with Brian Kastan
by Brian Kastan
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Take Five with Jared Pauley" Take Five With... Take Five with Jared Pauley
by Jared Pauley
Published: November 16, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.