Roger Neumann (1941- 2018)
Roger Neumann grew up in Spencer, Iowa, attended Morningside College in Sioux City, and Berklee School of Music in Boston. In between, he was the band director at Guthrie Center, Iowa.
Even after moving to the Los Angeles area in 1968, Roger continued to teach in Iowa. He joined the staff at the Reggie Schive Jazz Camp on the campus of Iowa Lakes Community College (Estherville, Iowa) in 1984 and had taught there every summer through 2018.
Neumann was honored as the jazz Composer/Arranger of the Year at the 20th Annual Jazz Tribute and Awards in 2002 in Los Angeles, an event sponsored by the L. A. Jazz Society. At the 2012 tribute and awards, Neumann received the Jazz Educator of the Year Award, which he shared with fellow-educator, trombonist Scott Whitfield. In 2005 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Morningside College.
As an arranger and composer, Neumann wrote for Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Ray Charles, The Raelettes, Ray Brown, Ray Anthony, The Beach Boys, Jerry Garcia, and others. He has written arrangements for the T.V. series, “The Young and the Restless,” “Moonlighting,” “Hollywood Wives.” and “My Favorite Martian.” He also wrote arrangements for several “Ice Capades” Christmas specials.
As a saxophonist, Neumann performed with Woody Herman, the Lee Castle/Jimmy Dorsey Band, The Beach Boys, Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Tex Beneke, and Bob Crosby, to name a few. He most recently had played and written for the jazz group called "The Phil Norman Tentet." His playing has been featured on the sound-tracks of several "Drive-In Classics" movies for the Showtime channel, plus the movies “Three Men and a Little Lady,” and “Mumford.” He has appeared on screen in the movies, “LaBamba,” “My Favorite Year,” and “For the Boys.”
Roger formed his own big band in L.A., and produced two CD’s, entitled, “Introducing Roger Neumann’s Rather Large Band,” and “Instant Heat!” His Rather Large Band also backed up his wife, vocalist Madeine Vergari, on her CD, called “This Is My Lucky Day!"