andy farber.jpg

Andy Farber

“I have been playing the Virtuoso alto and tenor saxophones for a few years now, and the horns have served me well in many musical situations. The scale is even, the horns subtone effortlessly down to low B-flat, and the altissimo register is available on command. The sound is rich and focused, comparable in many ways to my old French-made, vintage horns.”

 

Biography

An adroit and versatile jazz bandleader/composer/arranger/saxophonist and educator, Long-Island bred, and recently appointed Musical Director of the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop,  Andy Farber has been on the radar and rarefied shortlist of such musical legends as Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, Bobby Short, Michael Feinstein, Catherine Russell, Frankie Laine, Alan Harris, Cynthia Scott, Billy Stritch, B.B. King, Ray Charles, and more since his early 20s. Called a “consummate musician,” by internationally-recognized Ellington authority and arranger, David Berger, and “a sophisticated arranger/composer and sax player with a firm grasp of jazz and blues who swings elegantly,” by Wynton Marsalis. Farber glides effortlessly between the bandstand, the recording studio, his classrooms at Juilliard, and the piano in his home studio.

Born into an artistic family – his father is a jazz drummer and his uncle, arranger/composer Mitch Farber produced records for jazz luminaries including Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Mark Murphy, and Morgana King. Farber began playing clarinet at 8, followed quickly by the alto saxophone. Bitten by the jazz bug, Farber spent his summers attending jazz camps and workshops and studying arranging and composing privately. During this time he was mentored by jazz legends Budd Johnson, Chris Woods, Dave Burns, Arnie Lawrence, Wes Belcamp, and Billy Mitchell. He composed his first big band composition 12. At 17, he became a member of The Tri-state McDonalds’ Jazz Ensemble, performing with guest soloists like Randy Brecker, Branford Marsalis, and Steve Turre.

Farber studied jazz composition at the Manhattan School of Music with David Berger, and Mike Abene. Upon graduation, Farber was awarded the Manny Albam prize for jazz composition and formedAndy Farber & his Orchestra, a 15-piece band that held down a regular gig at the West End Gate in NYC for a year and a half. Many years later the band reformed for a two year run at Birdland.

In 1993, Farber met jazz vocalese legend Jon Hendricks who tapped him to write arrangements for his CD “Boppin’ at the Blue Note.” The stellar cast of guest artists included Al Grey, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Red Holloway, and Clark Terry. Hendricks invited Farber to join The Jon Hendricks Explosion as saxophonist and arranger, and they toured for a few years in the early/mid 1990s.. Following Farber’s tenure with Hendricks, he toured and recorded with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) on tenor saxophone marking the beginning of what continues to be an expansive and creative musical relationship with JALC , including guest conducting gigs and a variety of projects Marsalis has brought to Farber including commissions for the Orchestra, and assembling theJazz at Lincoln Center All Starsfeatured onstage in the Broadway show, After Midnight.

Farber continues to lead the band from After MidnightbackingTony Bennett and Lady Gaga for their PBS special Cheek to Cheek Live, appearing at the Rainbow Room, Jazz Standard, and Players Club as part of the Hot Jazz Festival in NYC, and, most recently, as Andy Farber & his Orchestra with whom he continues to perform and record with including upcoming gigs at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and The New Jersey Performing Arts Centre (NJPAC).

As a music educator, Farber teaches jazz composition and arranging at The Juilliard School in NYC. As a clinician, he conducts honor bands, gives workshops and master classes, and composes original big band compositions, published by Smart Chart Music. In 2015, Farber was tapped to succeed legendary composer/arrangers Bob Brookmeyer, Manny Albam, Mike Abene, and Jim McNeely as director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop.

Outside of the jazz arena, Farber occupies his time composing music for media including TV commercials, TV shows, web series, documentaries, and feature films. He is also busy as an orchestrator and conductor for other film and TV composers.

 

Instruments

VIRT1001M | Virtuoso Alto Saxophone, Antique Matte

VIRT2001M | Virtuoso Tenor Saxophone, Antique Matte

 

Follow Andy

Facebook