​​COMPOSER, PERFORMER, EDUCATOR


Ken Schaphorst is a composer, performer, and educator currently chairing the Jazz Studies Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston. At NEC, Schaphorst teaches courses in jazz composition, arranging, theory and analysis as well as directing the NEC Jazz Orchestra. Before moving to Boston in 2001, Schaphorst served as Director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin for ten years. Schaphorst is also a founding member of the Jazz Composers Alliance, a Boston-based non-profit corporation promoting new music in the jazz idiom since 1985. Schaphorst studied at Swarthmore College, New England Conservatory of Music, and Boston University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts in 1990. His composition teachers have included Thomas Oboe Lee, Gerald Levinson, William Thomas McKinley and Bernard Rands. Schaphorst was awarded Composition Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and 1991, the Wisconsin Arts Board in 1997, Meet the Composer Grants in 1987 and 1997, and was a Music Composition Finalist in the Massachusetts Fellowship Program in 1986. He won the Achievement Award for Jazz Education from Downbeat magazine in 2007. Schaphorst has released seven recordings as a leader: Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Making Lunch (1989), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: After Blue (1991), Ken Schaphorst Ensemble: When the Moon Jumps (1994), Ken Schaphorst: Over the Rainbow (1997), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Purple (1999), Ken Schaphorst: Indigenous Technology (2002) and Ken Schaphorst Big Band: How to Say Goodbye (2016).