Lenny Carlson has been composer-in-residence for Jeff Sanford’s Cartoon Jazz Septet & Orchestra for ten years. Sanford is a highly regarded woodwind artist who formed this ensemble to perform the eclectic and challenging music of Raymond Scott, who provided the musical background for 120 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons of the 1940s and 50s. The Cartoon Jazz Orchestra’s premiere performance was at the 2003 Stanford Jazz Festival. The musicians in the orchestra are among the top freelance musicians in the Bay Area, with credits from the San Francisco Symphony on down.
Other composers whose music is performed by the group include Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Shavers. But Lenny Carlson has extended the vision of Raymond Scott into the 21st century on the new CD Nothing Wrong: The Music of Lenny Carlson. While Carlson’s attitude and background are primarily from jazz, and there is considerable improvisation on the recording, there are many influences in the writing and performing: classical, Latin pop, blues, klezmer, and other folk music from around the world. The orchestra’s slight name change reflects this new and broader direction.
Jeff Sanford, Founder and Musical Director, Cartoon Jazz Septet & Orchestra
Jeff Sanford is a multi-instrumentalist and bandleader. He tours internationally, and has played with numerous prominent artists, including Regina Carter, Stan Getz, Frankie Laine, Steve Allen, Michael Feinstein, and Jon Hendricks, as well as the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Lenny Carlson, Musician; Composer
Lenny Carlson teaches in the Music Department at City College of San Francisco and has taught occasional jazz appreciation courses for Stanford Continuing Studies. He is a Grammy-nominated composer, guitarist, and producer with more than forty years of professional credits.