"A tribute to my late husband and soulmate"
- Ann Anello
For over 30 years, Mitch Kerper (A graduate of New York University and the New York College of Music), experienced profound success as a professional Jazz pianist, composer, Broadway conductor, arranger, and author.The scope of his accomplishments have been extensive, providing him the opportunity to both compose and perform music in domestic and international venues.
Mitch composed thematic music for such prominent network TV shows as NBC TV's "Another World", ABC TV's "One Life to Live", and the TV special, "Our Kids and the Best of Everything" (starring Nancy Reagan, Danny Devito, Debbie Allen, etc.) which garnered him an Emmy nomination. He also wrote the theme for ABC TV's Monday Night Baseball (1978/1979), as well as numerous game shows such as "Issues and Answers", "Beat the Clock", "What's My Line?", "Match Game", and "Hollywood Squares". As a musical director/conductor, he conducted the original Broadway company of "Hair", "Two Gentlemen of Verona", "But Never Jam Today" and "Les Misérables". He also conducted the National Tour of "The Wiz". Additionally, Mitch composed his own musical comedies, "Is The Real You, Really You" and "Verbena". He was also the World Tour musical director for the entire Royal Viking Cruise Line.
His performance credits include both written compositions as well as on stage performances in Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. He also appeared with a variety of prestigious artists, whom he was musical director for, such names as The Manhattan Transfer, Kenny Rogers, Buddy Rich, The Staple Singers, and Leslie Gore highlight a few. During numerous recording sessions, Mitch also participated as an accompanist for a variety of well known vocalists, including the popular RCA album "Minds Eye" by Jon Lucien and Irene Cara "Fame". He also recorded and released several of his own albums, the first of which was "A Real Melody" (CVR Records). Mitch was also a published author of musical books, such as: "Jazz Riffs for Piano" and "Jazz Riffs for Piano II".
To envision Kerper's professional accomplishments as a successful musical pianist, composer, arranger, author, and performer, it can be said that he lived an exceptionally brilliant life. However, Mitch Kerper suffered from a debilitating disease (Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome) that took his life in 2006.
According to the New York Times, “He was one of the greatest jazz musicians of our century, playing with the legendary Chet Baker for many years”. Through his music, Mitch shall live forever. Through his spirit and courage, his soul shall spring eternal.