As a composer, arranger and conductor, Don Sebesky has worked with such orchestras as the London Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Pops, The New York Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic of London, and
the Toronto Symphony.
His Broadway theater credits include Porgy and Bess (London production by Trevor Nunn), Sinatra At The Palladium, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate (2000 Tony Award), Bells Are Ringing, Flower Drum Song, Parade, The Life, Cyrano, The Goodbye Girl, Will Rogers Follies, and Sinatra At Radio City.
Among his film credits are The Rosary Murders (starring Donald Sutherland), Hollow Image (starring Morgan Freeman), The Last of the Belles (starring Susan Sarandon), Let's Get Lost (starring Chet Baker, Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival), The People Next Door (starring Eli Wallach and Julie Harris), Time Piece (Jim Henson Productions, Academy Award nomination for Best Short Subject).
For television, Sebesky's work has included Allegra's Window on Nickelodeon (Emmy nomination), The Edge of Night on ABC (Emmy nomination), and Guiding Light on CBS (Emmy nomination).
As a recording artist, Sebesky's work includes nine recordings under his own name, all of which were GRAMMY nominated. Included are Giant Box, Rape of El Morro, Full Cycle, Moving Lines, Symphonic Sondheim, I Remember Bill (1999 GRAMMY Award), and Joyful Noise (winner of two GRAMMY Awards in 2000).
Sebesky has also created the music for many well known commercials. Among the companies he has represented are: Corning (Clio Award), Hanes, Hallmark, Dodge Trucks, General Electric (Clio Award), Hershey's, Cheerios, Calvin Klein (Clio Award), Nike, Oil of Olay,
Pepsi and Kodak.
Sebesky is the author of the best selling orchestration text book,
The Contemporary Arranger.
Three-time Grammy Award winner Don Sebesky's Giant Box (1973) was a 1974 Grammy nominee in two categories Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band and Best Instrumental Arrangement (for the album's opening track "Firebird/Birds of Fire"). This ambitious project, originally a two-LP box set, showcases a who's-who of CTI greats Airto, George Benson, Billy Cobham, Paul Desmond, Joe Farrell, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Hubert Laws and Grover Washington, Jr.
5 New 'ON' this week: 25 Total
Markets include: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Memphis
You may not know they exist, but the best music arrangers can lift a song to new heights, making all the difference to whether it's a hit or not. Any musical composition can be reconceptualised – Franz Liszt arranged his own works for piano and transformed Bach's organ music – and the best music arrangers in jazz, pop and rock have become world famous. (Quincy Jones and Nelson Riddle are just two of the absolute modern masters.)
Music arrangers can decide which instruments will be used, which notes will be repeated, and what sections of the music are repeated and in which order. Their subtle changes to the choice of instruments, tempo, key or time signature can make all the difference to the success of the final record.
Here we pick 20 of best arrangers in popular music over the past century. The list could have run to triple figures, and some wonderful arrangers just miss out, including Herb Alpert, Booker T Jones, Mike Post, Jack Nitzsche, Jimmie Haskell, HB Barnum, Harold R Battiste, Nile Rodgers, Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Martin, Jeremy Lubbock, Nick Ingham, Isaac Hayes, Neil Hefti, Don Sebesky, Michel Legrand, Andre Previn, Don Sebesky and Christian McBride. Arrangement has moved with the times: Larry Gold is today one of the go-to arrangers for strings on hip-hop records. Our 20 best music arrangers are listed in order of chronology by birth. Think we've missed one of your favourites?
SEE THE LIST
Three-time Grammy Award winner Don Sebesky's Giant Box was a 1974 Grammy nominee in two categories Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band and Best Instrumental Arrangement. This ambitious project, originally a two-LP box set, showcases a who's-who of CTI greats.
The 70's are long gone - but you can always relive the decade's eclectic blend of funk, grooves, abstract jazz harmonies, and floating moods through albums like Giant Box. It is certified GROOVY, and you won't be disappointed in the plethora of soul contained within.