Ken Lauber

Ken Lauber (born May 14, 1941) is an American composer, arranger producer, musician, singer and playwright. Born in New York City in 1941 and raised on Long Island, his first music lessons of note were drum lessons with the legendary drummers Gene Krupa and Cozy Cole when he was thirteen. He continued his studies when he entered The Juilliard School of Music in the extension division when he was still in Junior and Senior High School studying percussion with Morris Goldenberg and Saul Goodman. In 1960 to 1962 he attended two semesters at Ithaca College to further his percussion studies with Warren Benson and then returned to The Juilliard School of Music to study music composition with the composer Vincent Persichetti, piano with Rosina Levine and conducting with Jean Morel. In addition he studied orchestration privately with Marion Evans. In 1964, Lauber worked for United Artists Corporation and scored a seven minute Piano Concerto for the film The World of Henry Orient, starring Peter Sellers. He also composed the score to The Drifter, a film by Alex Matter, that received international success at the Venice Film Festival.[ Single recordings under his name from the motion picture starring Sidney Poitier "Lilies of the Field" and the Tony Richardson / Albert Finney film "Tom Jones (film)" were among some of Ken's early recordings.

By 1969, Lauber had a singer/songwriter contract with Polydor Records. The album, Contemplation View, recorded in Nashville was part of the labels American debut. Lauber and the musicians backing him were part of another album recorded at the same time, Area Code 615 . The album, Contemplation View, was considered to be a new genre, which labeled Lauber in reviews as one of the innovators of "countrypolitan" music - a combination of country blues and jazz. In 1969 Lauber also composed music and sounds for Wynn Chamberlain's Brand X which opened in May 1970 at the Elgin Theater in New York, in Los Angeles at Grauman's Chinese Theater and in Washington DC. The film was soon closed down after a number of moves by Hollywood and various government agencies and was suppressed for 38 years. In April 2011 it recently re-opened at The New Museum in New York and has been traveling to various Museums, Universities and Film Festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

In New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles, Lauber played keyboards, arranged and produced for Richie Havens, Mimi Farina, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Doc Watson, Bob Macdill, and Sammy Smith. He also worked with Rick Danko and Kinky Friedman on their solo albums as an arranger and pianist. Lauber's compositions and songs have been recorded by some of the greatest jazz, folk and rock artists in American musical history, including Hank Jones, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, Tim Hardin, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Paul Smith, Red Callender, Toots Theilman and Stanley Clark. "Music can be a cinematic or theatrical drama's emotional unconscious, a sensory element that supports the audience's suspension of disbelief. The music must create and join with the audience's emotions by blending a drama's characters with the central storyline." Ken Lauber.

Between 1973 and 1983, in Los Angeles, Lauber settled into composing for film and television. He scored both original music and adapted period music to the film Hearts of the West, starring Jeff Bridges, and original music for the feature films Chilly Scenes of Winter (film), Peter Fonda's Wanda Nevada starring Brook Shields and Fonda, and additional music to Goin' South with Jack Nicholson and Fonda, Emmy Award winning 'Studs Lonigan' and 'Kent State' and contributed dramatic music for multiple episodes of the successful TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents' and 'Tales from the Darkside'.

Another film score includes the original soundtrack score for the documentary film In Search of Kundun with Martin Scorsese.

In 2008, Lauber composed music and wrote lyrics and book for the stage musical Le Hot Blu in collaboration with Anita Gonzalez. He also has composed book, music and lyrics for the stage musical 'Sugar Ray' with Laurence Holder and 'Steps' with Neil Dearling. Lauber has provided an original music score for Laurence Holder's bio drama, 'Monk', which completed its first off-Broadway run at the Nuyorican Poets Café. 'Monk' was also performed at the National Black Theater Festival and brought an AUDELCO, solo performance of the year award, to Rome Neal. Lauber completed a CD in 2007 entitled "O SOUL SONG" for release in Europe by Douglas Records and can be found in Limited Editions on his web site, "O Soul Song" features the esteemed classical Indian Bansuri flutist Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia.


In Search of Kundun with Martin Scorsese

Chilly Scenes of Winter (film)

Hearts of the West

Wanda Nevada

Goin' South

The World of Henry Orient


The Drifter

The Chicken Chronicles

I'll Take Sweden

The Little Dragons

The Ransom of Red Chief

Prime Time

Scratch Harry

The Mannequin

Brand X