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Michael Abene is a Grammy-nominated arranger, composer, pianist, and conductor. He was the Musical Director, Principle Composer/Arranger of the WDR Radio Big Band of Cologne, Germany from 2004 to 2014, and has served as Associate Music Director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, Associate Professor of Jazz Composition at Manhattan School of Music, and Professor of Ensemble Conducting and Associate Professor of Jazz Composition at the KUG Jazz Institute in Graz, Austria. Abene joined the Maynard Ferguson Band as a teenager and composed and arranged many charts for the band. He arranged and conducted Patti Austin’s Grammy-winning “Avant Gershwin”, the Grammy-nominated “Symphonica” featuring Joe Lovano, and contributed arrangements to three Grammy-nominated GRP All-Star Big Band recordings. Abene has written for Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Kurt Elling, Terell Stafford, Dianne Reeves, Tom Harrell, Paquito D’Rivera, and Jazzmeia Horn among countless others.

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