Diane Moser (1957-2020) was an American performer, composer, and educator who worked with jazz ensembles, big bands, orchestras, chamber music ensembles, dance companies, and theater companies throughout the U.S.
She earned a B.A. from Empire State College in New York and an M.M. in jazz piano from the Manhattan School of Music. She was the musical director, pianist, and contributing composer of Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band, a 17-piece big band formed for the purpose of developing and presenting new music created for large jazz ensembles. Presenting monthly concerts beginning in January of 1997, the group often presented in residence at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. The band features the music of its 11 resident composers, and has featured more than 100 guest composers and performers.
The band, according to the New Jersey Arts website, showcased works that, in many cases, probably never would have been heard as the composers conceived them. In 2012, Robert Bush described Moser, in the San Diego Reader, as “a sublime and powerful musician who has the innate ability to draw things out of expert players that you haven’t heard them do before.”
Moser’s work in film includes composing the film score for the award winning film Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket (Ashcan Films 2009) directed by filmmaker Dennis Connors and performed by the Diane Moser Quintet. She was also the music supervisor and performer for the short documentary film Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Voices and Visions Productions, LTD 2012), which is now permanently installed for continuous viewing at the Saint Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH.
Moser said about her 2018 album Birdsongs, “I wanted this recording to have a healing effect on those who listen. Our world is overrun with all kinds of sounds that are not always good for your health, or mental and emotional well-being. I wanted this recording to be a respite from that, so that those who listen can feel relieved from their daily stress and feel refreshed and positive.”