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Halley Shoenberg jazz clarinet player and bandleader
Biography: About

Jazz artist Halley Shoenberg has been a dynamic presence in the greater Washington, D.C. area for several decades. In addition to leading her own exciting ensembles, she is hotly in demand performing and recording on saxophone and clarinet with other top shelf groups in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. 

She has earned a fine reputation as a performer, arranger and composer, conversant in presenting musical styles from traditional to contemporary jazz, entertaining listeners in venues ranging from intimate clubs to huge ballrooms and festivals. She is a Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artist and on the roster of Jazz Beyond Borders. 


Halley Shoenberg has made numerous concert appearances with her own exciting ensembles. She has led concerts at the African American Civil War Memorial, Black Rock Center for the Arts, Blues Alley, Jazz at Wesley, Martin Luther King Library, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Potomac River Jazz Club and Strathmore. She has performed with other groups at Carlyle Club, Embassy of France, Jazz at Westminster, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and many Smithsonian museums, and for huge crowds of swing dancers at Glen Echo, Kennedy Center, Mobtown Ballroom and for Potomac River Jazz Club events.

Performing on saxophone, clarinet and flute, she has appeared at the Alexandria Memorial Day Jazz Festival, Annapolis Jazz & Roots Festival, Capital Fringe Festival, Castleton Festival, Charm City Django Jazz Fest, Chilliwack Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Festival, DC Lindy Exchange, Elkhart Jazz Festival, French Quarter Jazz Festival, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, Silver Spring Jazz Festival and Washington Women in Jazz Festival.

She toured in Germany with the Washington Symphony Orchestra and performed extensively with the Tom Cunningham Orchestra James Bazen Big Band and the LaSalle Dance Orchestra. She performs often with Hot Club of DC, the Craig Gildner Blue Sky 5, the Craig Gildner Big Band and Swingtopia.

Featuring some of the finest musicians available, Shoenberg ensembles perform widely in the Mid-Atlantic. Enjoy a variety of styles ranging from traditional jazz and swing to modern with elements of funk and blues, including original compositions and standards. The Revival Jazz Band celebrates music of the 1920s and 1930s and delightful dances of the Jazz Age. Halley’s Hot Gumbo Swingtet offers the sounds of New Orleans and her quartet and trio play swing, bebop and Latin jazz and the American Songbook. Another popular group embraces modern jazz and swing with elements of funk, rock and Latin jazz. Tasteful originals reflect 100 years of jazz and include the modern influences of Chick Corea, Weather Report, Pat Metheny and Branford Marsalis. 


The Shoenberg discography is extensive. Three self-produced albums highlight her skills as a composer, arranger and bandleader. Many more reveal her vital role as a guest artist and band member. She appeared with Hot Club of Baltimore on the group’s self-titled 2020 album and several recordings with Craig Gildner ensembles. Recordings with Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes include big band recordings Bullettes and Friends (2015) and Bullettes Play Basie (2014) and It Don’t Mean a Thing with the septet in (2015). Many more albums were recorded with the Tom Cunningham Orchestra, James Bazen Big Band and La Salle Dance Orchestra.

Shoenberg studied classical and jazz music at Indiana University. She studied with David Baker, Dominic Spera, James Campbell, Tom Walsh and Lynn Baker focusing on clarinet and saxophone in the jazz studies program, earning a BM in Jazz Studies (clarinet and saxophone) in 1993. She served an internship at Carnegie Hall and earned an MA in arts administration from Florida State University in 1995. Shoenberg teaches privately and coaches woodwind sections and ensembles in area schools and summer music camps.

An increasingly prolific visual artist, she works in collage and mixed media incorporating acrylic, ink, watercolor and other elements in her work.  

Biography: Text
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