Randy Klein is an accomplished pianist, composer, record producer and the president of Jazzheads; an independent record label featuring improvised jazz.
Randy Klein has been awarded the Simons Public Humanities Fellowship at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas for the 2011-2012 academic year. He is the recipient of the 2009 BMI Foundation Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre. His song cycle, Lineage won the 2009 CAP Grant sponsored by the American Music Center. He is the winner of four Southern Regional Emmy Awards: 1996 - for the original score to the 90 minute film-documentary titled Richard Wright (Black Boy) PPS/BBC. He won the 1998, 1999 and 2002 Southern Regional Emmy Awards in the category of "Outstanding Collaborative Achievement for Composer" for his work on Ticktock Minutes (PBS). Ticktock Minutes is the winner of the 1999 National Emmy Award for Best Public Service Announcement. He has been nominated for a 1998 and 2010 Jerry Boch Award for his theater composition. He is the winner of the USA Songwriting Competition 2005 in the Jazz category and top two in the overall category for his composition “Data”. He is the winner of gold records for songs recorded by Polydor recording artist Millie Jackson, and composed and produced the dance hit "Watch The Closing Doors" for the RCA group IRT. He has had songs recorded by Candy Staton, Sarah Dash (formerly of LaBelle), the rap group Black Sheep, Memphis Bleak, and Sesame Street.
As a pianist, he performs in various ensembles including: Two Duos, Solo Improvised Piano, and a quintet. He has performed at venues such as Birdland, Klavierhaus, Trumpets, and the historic Union of Composers Club (Moscow). Randy’s music has also been featured at many Jazz and Music conventions in Chicago, New York and at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.
Randy Klein’s improvisation project, Two Duos has received rave reviews for the release of the CD Sunday Morning, May 2010, featuring trombonist Chris Washburne and Russian saxophonist Oleg Kireyev performing with Randy Klein on piano. The duos are sensitive duets designed to feature each of these esteemed soloists. Composed specifically for each performer, the project continues to expand to include other great improvising soloists. A new Two Duos release will be spring 2011 featuring bassist, Boris Kozlov and guitarist, Alex Skolnick.
His solo improvised piano recordings include: Randy Klein’s Jazzheads (Jazzheads), Underground Romantic (Jazzheads), Just My Imagination (Slider Music) and Love Notes From The Bass (Jazzheads), Broadway Remembers (Main Street Productions), How Sweet It Is, Rock-A-Bye Baby (Rock Candy Music), Invitation In (Jazzheads), Piano Christmas (Jazzheads) and The Flowing (Jazzheads).
He is the composer of For My People, a song cycle featuring the poetry of American author, Margaret Walker. For My People was featured at the Furious Flower Poetry Festival at James Madison University and the University of Kansas. The music premiere of the renowned poem by Margaret Walker ‘For My People’ is scheduled for April 2, 2011 at James Madison University, Va, with a 52 voice chorale.
His documentary film scores include: National Emmy winner Free To Dance (PBS Great Performances) and National Emmy winner Beyond Tara – The Extraordinary Life Of Hattie McDaniel (American Movie Classics) and Richard Wright – Black Boy (PBS/BBC production). His music can be heard at the Burial Ground Museum in lower Manhattan and at the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC.
His musical theater works include Move!, a dance musical commissioned by the Royal Theatre Carre', Amsterdam (premiered April, 1992); I Don't Do Club Dates, staged reading at the Victory Theater September, 1991 by the National Musical Theater Network and at the John Harms Center for the Arts, Englewood, NJ, January 1994; and Capture The Moon, based on the Eastern European folklore stories of the Wise Men of Chelm. In 1989, I Don't Do Club Dates earned Randy a BMI Foundation grant for artistic promise in theater composition; Falling Apart, a chamber musical utilizing elements of both musical theater and the jazz concert; Bucky And His Friends, a full-length contemporary vaudeville show for stage, video and CD; Flambe’ Dreams (formerly) The Thing About Joe, an original musical about a man who dreams of becoming a great maitre'd. Flambe Dreams has been performed in readings and workshops from 2006-2011 at: The BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, BMI Showcase , Musical Mondays at the Jerry Orbach Theatre, TRU readings , Groundup Productions, and The York Theatre.
He is a member emeritus of the advanced BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, The Dramatists Guild, NARAS and an alumnus/visiting artist at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a music educator conducting clinics on various elements of music and the business of music to universities. Randy Klein is an exclusive Steinway artist.
His music compositions and piano playing can best be described as the best of eclecticism. The genres included in Randy Klein's musical repertoire are: solo piano improvisations, jazz compositions with and without lyrics, songs for musical theatre shows, music for children's educational TV, music for film and documentaries, R&B, pop, country and novelty songs, and improvisational synthesizer works.
He demands a high degree of excellence from his own work and those that he works with. The result is always great music.