David Blumberg

Sep 1 • In Memoriam

ASMAC Boardmember – arranger/producer/musician David Blumberg left us on Saturday April 17th from complication of cancer.

David is survived by his wife, Evelyne Claude Blumberg, his daughter and son-in-law Elodie and Kyle Hara, his granddaughter, Brylee Hara, 2 sisters Laurel Airica and Ronne Fonfa and his loving companion dog, Ricky.

He will be missed!

We feel the sadness and grief at the loss of our ASMAC brother, David Blumberg who passed away on April 17th. David has served on ourBoard of Directors from 1992 until his death. He energized us all and paved the way for the expansion of our education program and master classes, a program that continues to be strong to this day.
He felt very strongly about the importance and value of diversity, seeing to it that ASMAC did more to reflect a vibrant multi-cultural perspective.

David was a doer who taught us all how to act with focus and commitment. The enjoyment that he got from being a part of the music world is a joy that permeates the air tonight. His chair may look empty, but it is filled with his spirit, a flame that will never be extinguished.
Our hearts, love and prayers are extended to his family and friends.

ASMAC Board of Directors

David Blumberg was born in Blythe, California moving to Los Angeles at the age of 7. He studied music in college and privately with many teachers. He began his arranging career for a soul label named Venture Records created by the legendary producer, Clarence Paul. After an inspiring conversation with Lyle (Spud) Murphy, David became his student, studying the EIS course over the next few years, developing a life long friendship.

Hal Davis at Motown Records decided to begin using David, and this association lasted over eleven years garnering 14 gold albums. Doing their first three Jackson Five albums, he received his first #1 record on Michael Jackson’s Got To Be There. The next #1 arrangement was for Dinah Ross, titled Love Hangover. At Motown he worked with Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, the Miracles, Jermaine Jackson, Leon Ware, the Four Tops, Norman Whitfield, Holland-Dozier-Holland, and many other artists. For Marvin Gaye he arranged the album I Want You which is considered a classic. Other arrangements for Marvin were the song, You Sure Love to Ball, and the Dinah & Marvin duet album. At other labels during that same period, he worked with Quincy Jones on the Body Heat album including Everything Must Change, and orchestrations on several of Q’s films.

Other artists he worked with were Nat and Cannonball Adderly, Wayne Shorter, Milt Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Melissa Manchester, Tim Buckley, Nils Lofgrin, Neil Young, Spirit, Bobby Womack, Patti LaBelle, James Brown, Johnny Mathis, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Gene Page, Joe Sample, Frankie Valli, David Byrne, Cameo, Peabo Bryson, Johnny Nash, Anita Baker, Tina Turner, Patti Austin, Jerry Butler, Syreeta, Jimmy Smith, Andy Williams, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dakota Staton, Tony Martin and many others.

In 1979 he was the arranger on Gloria Gaynor’s #1 record I Will Survive, which was voted the #1 dance record of the last 20 years. In recent years he has arranged for David Benoit including the American Landscape album, three albums with Maxwell for Sony, including This Woman’s Work. Last year he worked as arranger on Ellis Hall’s Straight Ahead album, orchestration for Robbie Buchanan for Barbra Streisand’s Movie album, and orchestrated for Jorge Calandrelli for Sissle.

He was the arranger on three songs on the new duets album for the legendary Ray Charles, titled Genius Loves Company, with Norah Jones, Diana Krall and Gladys Knight. That album is already at 2.5 million in sales and still climbing. At present he is working on an album for Stevie Wonder.

In film, David has worked as orchestrator or arranger for Herbie Hancock on four films, including Round Midnight which won the Academy Award for music in 1987. He also worked on films with Elmer Bernstein, Bob Alcivar, Neil Young, Fred Karlin, and Frank Stalone.

As a composer, he scored the TV show The Spectacular World of Guinness Records with Tony Martin Jr. and did several shorts, animated features, commercials and Multi-Media/CD Roms. In 1999, he composed the music for the feature, Unconditional Love, for Horne Entertainment.

He has had numerous concert performances of his classical compositions for orchestra, string quartet, chamber groups, and brass/wind ensembles.

After many years of study with Spud Murphy, former president of ASMAC, he  thoroughly enjoyed teaching the Equal Interval System to private students.

David was a longtime board member of ASMAC, Chair of the Master Class/Workshop Committee, current Governor of Naras, member of ASCAP and the Professional Musicians Union.


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