Laura Klein was born in New York City and started attending the Manhattan School of Music’s preparatory school at age seven. She majored in music at SUNY Buffalo, studying with master pianists Ruslana Antonowicz, Leo Smit, and Yvar Mikashoff. After receiving her degree, she attended Berklee School of Music where she studied jazz performance, composition and arranging with Mick Goodrick, John La Porta, Phil Wilson, and others. She was hired by the great drummer Joe Hunt to be in his trio, and while living in Boston, played with Bob Mover, Ron Horton, Jamie Baum, Frank London, George Schuller, Ken Filliano, Ira Coleman, and many of the other musicians on the Boston scene at that time. While at Berklee she met her future husband and musical partner, guitarist/composer/arranger Tony Corman, and two other musicians that she would perform and record with over the next three decades: reeds player Dave Tidball, and drummer Alan Hall. She also began a long musical collaboration with vibraphonist Ted Wolff, whose mentor, the great Gary Burton, brought him onto the Berklee faculty.
Upon relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1984, Laura performed with John Dankworth and the SF Symphony, with the Rudi Salvini Big Band (with luminaries Allen Smith and Johnny Coles), and in the Benny Barth trio. She and her husband formed the group Triceratops, which appeared at Yoshi’s, Kimball’s, Jazz on the Hill, SF Performances, and numerous festivals. Band members included Jim Zimmerman, Dean Reilly, Jeff Cressman, Dave Eshelman, Clark Gayton, Jules Rowell, and other top Bay Area musicians.
Since then, Laura has led a busy free-lance performing life, sharing the stage with many Bay Area musicians including Clairdee, Jason Lewis, Jackie Ryan, Nicolas Bearde, Ed Reed, Noel Jewkes, Alan Hall, Bob Kenmotsu, Leon Joyce, Jr., John Santos, Mary Fettig, Marcus Shelby, and countless others. She has performed with big bands including the Morchestra, the CSM Band, and the Montclair Women’s Big Band. She has appeared at SF Jazz with her own trio, as well as with Steve McQuarry’s Tribute to Carla Bley, and the Destiny Muhammad Project.
She and Tony Corman are co-leaders of FivePlay Jazz Quintet, for which they compose original music. FivePlay’s members include Dave Tidball and bassist Paul Smith. FivePlay has three CDs, all of which have received national and international airplay. Guest artists with FivePlay include the late Eddie Marshall, Ron Horton, and Celia Malheiros. The group has performed widely in the Bay Area, including Yoshi’s, the California Jazz Conservatory, Vallejo Jazz, Piedmont Piano, Red Poppy Art House, and the Sound Room, done two live concert broadcasts on KPFA-FM, and been featured twice on Jim Bennett’s “In The Moment” on KCSM-FM. FivePlay’s performance of Laura’s composition, “Glow In the Dark”, was featured on the soundtrack of the documentary, “The Grant Green Story”.
Laura’s recordings include: FivePlay Jazz Quintet, Five of Hearts, Five and More, Cerulean Blue (with Ted Wolff), Triceratops, and Jenny Ferris’ Day In, Day Out.
Jim Bennett produced and recorded a concert of Laura’s compositions, performed by Laura Klein, Jason Lewis and Jeff Neighbor, which was broadcast on KCSM-FM’s “In the Moment” series.
Laura is an Associate Professor of the Alexander Technique at the California Jazz Conservatory.
To contact Laura Klein about bookings, obtaining CD’s, or to get on an email list for future appearances, email her.