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Shelly Berg

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Although he has achieved some recognition as the president of the International Association of Jazz Educators and as a teacher, Shelly Berg's powerhouse piano playing has thus far been generally overlooked due to him not recording often enough. Inspired by his father, trumpeter Jay Berg, Shelly, at the age of six, was accepted at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He started playing professionally when he was 13, playing both classical music and jazz. Moving to Houston with his family when he was 15, Berg played regularly with Arnett Cobb and various all-stars passing through town. He turned down a job with Woody Herman to finish his education. After graduating from the University of Houston, Berg played locally with a variety of groups, including the Brass Connection. He became a respected music educator at San Jacinto College in Texas before moving to Los Angeles in 1991 to teach at U.S.C. Shelly Berg appears occasionally in Los Angeles clubs, often playing with Bill Watrous' groups, and in 1996 he recorded a fine trio set for DMP. ~ Scott Yanow

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Cleveland, OH

Years Active:

'90s, '00s