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Scott Routenberg

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Instruments  Piano
Labels  EMI Records
Name  Scott Routenberg
Record label  EMI Records
Years active  2000–present
Role  Composer
Albums  Jazztronicus
Scott Routenberg
Occupation(s)  Composer, musician, arranger, educator
Genres  Jazz, Classical music, Electronica
Similar People  Christian Howes, EMI Records, Jeremy Monteiro, Howard Levy, Vince Mendoza

Concerto for jazz violin and orchestra scott routenberg sofia kraevska conductor

Scott Routenberg (born 1978) is an American composer, jazz pianist, arranger and orchestrator. Currently teaching music at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, he has published both full-length compositions for jazz ensembles and several studio albums. Both his 2003 and 2006 independent releases "explore jazz-influenced electro-acoustic hybrids." He has won a number of songwriting contests, including the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Maxell Song of the Year in 2004 for his song "Bandwidth", which also won the JLSC's Grand Prize in the Jazz Category.


Ensembles such as Metropole Orkest and conductors such as Vince Mendoza have also commissioned pieces by Routenberg, and he has performed at international venues such as the Montreaux Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Stated jazz violinist Christian Howes, "Scott Routenberg is a rare musician with both the experience to play modern jazz piano on the highest level and the discipline to write elegant, long-form symphonic pieces."

Dr scott routenberg jazz pianist and composer live quartet performance of embrace

Early life, education

Scott Routenberg was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978. Raised by his parents in Atlanta, he has some ancestry from Western Ukraine. Routenberg began learning jazz piano at age fifteen after being inspired by his uncle, a vocalist and pianist. Among Routenberg's first jazz piano teachers was the Brazilian bossa nova pianist and bandleader Manfredo Fest. Routenberg attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill starting in 1997, graduating in 2001 with a B.A. in Music and Communications.

He went on to earn three graduate degrees from 2001 to 2008 at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. First he worked on his Masters in Jazz Piano Performance from 2001 to 2003 in the studio of Vince Maggio (a student of pianist Oscar Peterson). Routenberg then earned a Master of Music in Media Writing and Production in 2005, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Composition in 2008. His jazz piano teachers have included Ted Howe, Dr. Scott Warner, Chip Crawford, and Vince Maggio among others. Among his teachers in Miami were Gary Lindsay and Ron Miller for composition and arranging. Lindsay was his doctoral advisor, while Routenberg has cited Miller's modal jazz concepts as an influence on his own songwriting. Miller has also taught guitarist Pat Metheny, among others.

His doctoral essay was titled Americana Suite: A Composition for Full Orchestra, Big Band, and Jazz Chamber Ensembles Inspired by American Master Paintings, and was published by the ProQuest Learning Company. He has also authored material for INform Magazine, published by the Indiana Music Educators Association.

2000-06: Solo albums

Shapeshifter (2000)

In 2000 Routenberg released his first solo album, the jazz-themed Shapeshifter. The album was "dedicated to the great Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest, mentor and friend, who selflessly taught me the timeless art of jazz piano."

Lots of Pulp (2003)

His second solo album, Lots of Pulp, was independently released in 2003. Genres include jazz, classical, and electronic, and all tracks were written, arranged, produced, mixed and mastered by Routenberg, with co-writers on some tracks. With respect to instruments Routenberg contributed the found sound sampling, the drum machine, vocal percussion, keyboards, Fender Rhodes, and piano, with guest artists such as Billy Contreras on violin and Patrick Lopez on trumpet. According to The Island Packet in 2004, in Lots of Pulp Routenberg "utilizes hundreds of effects that punctuate his original songs, such as the liquid sound of orange juice being poured into a glass."

"Bandwidth" and Jazztronicus (2006)

In 2004 he won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Maxell Song of the Year for his song "Bandwidth", which had a programmed drum part hybridized with big band and electronica. It was the first time the award was given to a jazz songwriter. The song also won the JLSC's Grand Prize in the Jazz Category. In the summer of that year he was a Composer Scholar at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, studying with composers Vince Mendoza and Jack Smalley.

"Bandwidth" was released as a single by EMI Records in 2005, and later included on Routenberg's full album Jazztronicus. Jazztronicus was released in 2006, and most of the tracks were written and arranged by Routenberg. All the tracks were published by Denmaster Music, excluding "Bandwidth", which had already been published by EMI April Music. Routenberg handled keyboards and programming, with Billy Contreras again on violin and Sofia Kraevska on vocals and co-writing several songs. Spanning both the genres of jazz and electronica, a digital version was released in 2010.

2000-07: First awards

Since releasing his first solo album in 2000 he has won or been nominated for a number of awards; for example, he won ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2006. In 2003 he won first place in instrumental performance in piano for the Hilton Head Jazz Society Scholarship, and the next year he won The ASCAP Foundation Grant Program for his song "Through Your Eyes." In 2006 he won in the Downbeat Student Music Awards for "The Dove", and in the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition he was one of the top 18 pianists. After having participated in the Television and Film Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis in 2007, he was awarded the ASCAP Foundation David Rose Scholarship. Also in 2007 he was the Composition Winner in the University of Miami Concerto Competition for his Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra.

2000-14: Composing and performing

He was the fifth composer commissioned as part of the First Music series by the New York Youth Symphony, with his composition New York Night premiering in 2007 at Lincoln Center in New York City. New York Night is a single movement of an extended composition entitled Americana Suite.

His orchestral pops arrangements have been commissioned by the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Michael Krajewski of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among other conductors and ensembles. His jazz arrangements have been commissioned and performed by composer Vince Mendoza, during Mendoza's tenure as chief conductor of the Metropole Orkest. Other commissioners include pianist Howard Levy of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Singapore jazz pianist and big band leader Jeremy Monteiro, among others. Since 2011 Routenberg has been an arranger for the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands. His orchestral pops arrangements have been performed by American symphony orchestras including those of Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Naples. World premieres include Ukraine, the Netherlands, and China, and his music has been premiered in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Fox Newman Scoring Stage in Los Angeles.

As a jazz pianist Routenberg has performed at international venues such as the Montreaux Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne, and the North Sea Jazz Festival, and he has performed with musicians such as Howard Levy and Billy Contreras. He often performs live with a rotating lineup of musicians; in 2012 he was performing as the Scott Routenberg Quintet, with other musicians including Mark Buselli, Rob Dixon, Frank Smith and Greg Artry.

One of his more popular orchestral works in 2014 was his Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra. It premiered in Lviv, Ukraine on June 21, 2014 by American jazz violinist Christian Howes, on invitation from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev as part of a "cultural diplomacy mission." U.S. Embassy Cultural Attache Andrew Paul was quoted saying at the concert that "the piece is groundbreaking with the use of improvised violin solos."

As of 2014 Routenberg continues to teach jazz piano at Ball State University in Indiana, teaching a variety of performance, theory, and history classes.


Routenberg is known to utilize the genres of jazz, classical, electronica, and big band, among others. Both his 2003 and 2006 albums "explore jazz-influenced electro-acoustic hybrids."

He has stated that influences on his work in jazz piano include Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Benny Green. Stated Routenberg's collaborator and jazz violinist Christian Howes, "Scott Routenberg is a rare musician with both the experience to play modern jazz piano on the highest level and the discipline to write elegant, long-form symphonic pieces."

Personal life

Routenberg currently lives in Muncie, Indiana. He is married to Sofia Kraevska. From Lviv, Ukraine, Kraevska also earned her doctorate in Composition from the University of Miami and is a pianist and composer as well.


Lots of Pulp
Chicken Pickin'
Designer Bossa
The Crawford Recipe
The Midnight Creeper
Shores of Paradise
String the Groove
Brazil '06
The Reckoning
The Tooth Fairy
Gluteus Groove


Scott Routenberg Wikipedia