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Roger Kellaway, piano/composer

Roger KellawayComposer, arranger, pianist and producer Roger Kellaway, born in the Boston suburb of Newton in 1939, learned piano and double bass as a youth and acquired an early interest in both jazz and classical music through recordings. Kellaway studied at the New England Conservatory from 1957 to 1959, but left school to play double bass with cornetist Jimmy McPartland and trumpeter Ralph Marterie and then toured and recorded as a pianist with Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Ben Webster, Maynard Ferguson, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, Lena Horne and other notable jazz and popular artists. In 1966, Kellaway moved to Los Angeles to play in Don Ellis’ big band, and he quickly established himself as a performer, arranger, composer and producer in film, television and recording studios, as well as music director for Bobby Darin. He has credits for more than thirty television shows, feature films and documentaries and received a 1976 Oscar nomination for Best Adaptation Score for Barbra Streisand’s film A Star Is Born, but he claims as his most prized Hollywood credit Remembering You, composed in 1970 as the closing theme for the hit TV series All in the Family.

Kellaway returned to New York in 1984, performing regularly in the city’s jazz clubs, organizing such events as Stephane Grappelli’s eightieth birthday concert at Carnegie Hall in 1988, conducting on Broadway, touring and recording widely in America and Europe, and winning a 1989 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for clarinetist Eddie Daniels’ album Memos from Paradise. He branched out into classical composition with a 1971 commission from George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, and he has since written pieces for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, New American Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Since the 1990s, Kellaway has been based in Ojai, California, from where he continues to be involved in composing for film, television and classical concerts, appearing as pianist and guitarist at jazz and rock festivals and concerts in the United States, Europe and the Far East, and recording as performer, producer, composer and arranger. In 2008, he received the prestigious Prix du Jazz Classique (the French “Grammy”) for his CD Heroes (dedicated to Oscar Peterson) and worked as music director for Van Morrison at the Hollywood Bowl. The following year he composed Visions Of America with photographer Joseph Sohm and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman, received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the New England Conservatory, and orchestrated and conducted the music for Clint Eastwood’s film Invictus.

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