In addition to his many accomplishments as a jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, Richard Sussman has also achieved widespread acclaim as a jazz educator, clinician, and music technologist. He has been a member of the Jazz Composition faculty at Manhattan School of Music for over 25 years, where his duties have included teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in jazz arranging and composition, as well as the direction of all aspects of Music Technology and Software within the Jazz Program.
Richard Sussman received the prestigious ASCAP award for Jazz Composition in 2008, honoring jazz legend Hank Jones. Richard went on to work as an arranger with Hank on several projects, including a concert with the acclaimed Metropole Orchestra of Amsterdam. Richard was the last arranger to work with Hank Jones prior to his passing in May 2010.
Michael Abene is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest living jazz composer/arrangers, and the list of artists he has collaborated with reads like a modern day "Who's Who" of jazz. Michael is also a greatly respected jazz educator. In addition to teaching jazz composition and arranging at the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Abene co-directed the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop for many years. He is also a much sought after guest conductor and clinician. Michael has been director of the esteemed WDR Radio Big Band of Cologne, Germany since 2003.