TED HOWE was born in Boston, MA with a fascination for sound from the day he was born. A penchant for sound from a toddler may not always be a parent’s dream. However, this love of sound grew as did that of the Red Sox from the attention he received from his Uncle Oly, who introduced him both to jazz and to baseball. Young TED listened to every jazz album he could find, attended many jazz concerts and quickly found his favorites amongst Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, Dave Brubeck and Bill Evans.
TED began studying piano in his tender teens with HARRY SMITH, one of the legendary founders of the BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC. TED’S natural persistence and relentless fascination of developing his craft dominated his life. He soon became not only a student at Berklee, but a professor of piano arranging, theory and improvisation — all before reaching the age of 24.
After a two year stint as a pianist in the Army, TED took a gig at one of Boston’s leading live entertainment venues, The Surf Supper Club where he soon became bandleader playing and conducting for some of the biggest acts of the time. It was at the Surf that HOWE honed his craft of arranging — a strong point that to this day sets him aside from other gifted pianists.
TED moved his family to Atlanta where he continued performing, composing, arranging, producing and teaching. Again, HOWE shared the stage with many of the great jazz artists and entertainers of the day and he continued building relationships with performers who called on his services each time they came to town, such as MEL TORME — who refused to sing with anyone else on his visits to Atlanta.
HOWE also joined the faculty of GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY where he assisted in developing its first jazz education program.
Now living in Los Angeles and a SUMMIT RECORDS recording artist, TED continues to record, produce, arrange and perform extensively. His latest CD, LOVE SONG, pays homage to HAROLD ARLEN, COLE PORTER, and JAMES VAN HEUSEN in a significantly new way.
LOVE SONG debuts four of HOWE’S own love songs, written with his partner, lyricist and Executive Producer, REBEKAH MILLER. The Miller & Howe songs are lovingly sung by star of stage, film and television, LAINIE KAZAN, and renowned jazz baritone, GIACOMO GATES.
TED has two other releases on SUMMIT. The first, ELLINGTON, which was an “accidental” CD evolved from HOWE’S touring show which paid homage to his idol. It was recorded strictly for choreography purposes so that a local dance company could turn the show into a ballet. The music felt like a CD from the start. So TED added a few tunes, playing with his longtime friends, bassist NEAL STARKEY and drummer JERRY FIELDS. The album has continued to enjoy rave reviews and had a lengthy stay on the JAZZWEEK airplay chart.
HOWE’S second release was ELTON EXPOSED, a jazz trio interpretation of ELTON JOHN’S music, featuring drummer JOE LABARBERA and bassist JOHN PATITUCCI. Once again, TED HOWE had brilliantly tackled music beloved by the public and turned it on its ear in an accessible way. The album inadvertently became a “must have” for any ELTON fan on the official ELTON JOHN FAN CLUB web site — perhaps a first for any jazz CD.
Three recent projects of note include; AN EVENING OF DUKE ELLINGTON WITH TED HOWE & THE RUTH MITCHELL DANCE THEATRE, a full fledged ballet featuring 21 dancers, choreographed by members of the ALVIN AILEY DANCE COMPANY. The ballet music was entirely TED’S arrangements of DUKE’S music set to dance. Premiering in Atlanta to glowing reviews, the ballet was performed to sold out houses.