about

About

stephan4 - Version 3 R evered and beloved by an abundance of music industry legends and notables, Stephan Oberhoff has uniquely crisscrossed the worlds of producer, musician, songwriter, arranger, sound engineer – and consummate artist.

Stephan has performed with, produced for, collaborated with a who’s-who of greats; including Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Melissa Manchester, Patti Austin – and so many more…

He inimitably juggles the arts spanning the music creation process; but at his heart, he is a musician – with formidable, renowned skills as a keyboard player, peerlessly creating a full orchestra or Brazilian band or contemporary jazz section or country rhythm section…  all at his fingertips.  Add to that exceptional talents as a guitarist, vocalist, drummer, accordion player, bass player, percussionist, and saxophonist.

Here’s his story…

In 1991, a 6’4” German was generating extraordinary music success in the advertising world.

He wrote (with Evkathrin Pahnke) and produced one of the longest-running TV and radio commercials in the history of European TV and radio media: “Merci dass es dich Gibt,” (“Merci that there is You”).  As a recording artist on BMG Records, Stephan also released it garnering tremendous success as a radio single.

Stephan was also honored with the coveted “Golden Lion” Award, for a #1 nationwide advertising campaign with Bahlsen Company.

Enthralled by the muse of American melodies and pop orchestrations, Stephan set sail for America.

It didn’t take long before the word spread in Hollywood – and Stephan began collaborating with myriad internationally-acclaimed artists and writers; including Brenda Russell (“Piano in the Dark”), Siedah Garrett, Michael Ruff (Bonnie Raitt, India Arie, David Sanborn), Sharon Vaughn (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings), etc. — and collaborating with the biggest songwriters in the world over the past 30 years.

Credits include producing, arranging and performing on Brenda Russell’s critically-acclaimed “Paris Rain” record, and producing, arranging and performing on Melissa Manchester’s “When I Look Down that Road” release.

Current projects include collaborating with Quincy Jones on Quest Records’ Jason Gould, (who has performed globally with his mother, Barbra Streisand) on which Stephan has produced, arranged, engineered and performed all songs from Jason’s current release.

Stephan has co-produced, performed and collaborated with Johnny Mercer Award-winning composer Michele Brourman on multiple award-winning animated musicals for film and television, including Universal Studios’ “Land Before Time,” (currently in its 14th season), as well as Disney’s “Balto II,” “Balto III,”  “American Tail IV,”  “Chipmunk Meets Frankenstein” and “Hercules And Xena.”

Other notable clients include producing, arranging and performing credits with Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”), Jeffrey Osborne (artist), jazz great Doc Powell (Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin), Jimmy Dunne (songwriter of 28 million hit records), saxophone artist Everette Harp (Blue Note and Capitol Records) – and a laundry list of pop, jazz and R&B greats. Full details on Client List

 

Artist credentials include “Conversations with my Father,” along with a current record recent release, “Applauding the Sunset”, a musical homage to his “other home of the heart,” Brazil.

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Wlecome to Stephan Oberhoff's website!

Please check out the brand new CD, "Applauding the Sunset"!

music

Music


“BRASILIA SKY”

There is a city in the central part of Brazil that I used to visit frequently.  It was not the world famous architecture of Oscar Niemeyer that drew me there, but I took the long journey (3 flights and more than 18 hours of travel) because someone held the keys to my heart there for a long time.

I always thought the city in itself was kind of unattractive, until one day, after a major rainstorm, I looked up and saw the magic — the clouds had arrived over the lake in the middle of the city and some mystical angel hand had lifted them up until they formed a three-dimensional coppola above my head.

I have never again seen this phenomenon anywhere in my travels.

Sadly, I was too stunned to take a photo, but this is my attempt to show you the photograph in my heart with the melody of “Brasilia Sky.”

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Credits: Artist, Producer, Arranger, Engineer, all instruments played by Stephan Oberhoff . Additional percussion by Walter Rodriguez

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“SPRING KNOWS IT’S WAY BACK HOME”

by Stephan Oberhoff and Sharon Vaughn

It was Melissa Manchester who kindly introduced me to Sharon Vaughn, a lyricist and writer with an incomprehensible roster of artists for whom she generates hit after hit worldwide.  Sharon came over to my studio in Woodland Hills one overcast, drizzly afternoon in order to see if we could write something together.  I was nervous, to be honest.

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The diminished chords of the song idea I had just started writing weren’t “country” enough — but I had nothing else on the front burner, musically speaking, so I hesitantly showed it to her.  She listened quietly and began sketching rapidly on her yellow legal pad — and, no more than a half hour later, she tore a page off and asked, “What do you think?”

By the way, there were no lyric edits whatsoever — the lyric just flowed out of her.  This is pure genius at work…

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Credits: Artist, Producer, Arranger, Engineer.  All instruments played by Stephan Oberhoff.

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“ALTA VISTA”

by Stephan Oberhoff and Robert Kyle

Sometimes we need a different viewpoint. I take lots of breaks when I write because the break itself activates a playful and obsessively creative part of mine that begins to alter the initial idea and suggests other melodies and chords etc.

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I wrote this song with my beloved “brother in creative crime,” Robert Kyle, during one of our “Sound Bath” sessions.

What that means is that we will freely play into the ether, without deciding on anything… No road map.
It is sometimes bumpy, but we infallibly run across a melody that came to one of us, or both!

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Music is transformative and enables us to grow, move through life and often see things from a higher viewpoint… Hence the name, “Alta Vista.”

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Credits: Artist, Producer, Arranger, Engineer.  All instruments played by Stephan Oberhoff.

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“NOW THAT YOU FOUND ME”

A Song About Fathers.

“I never really had a close relationship with my dad.  Moving away after the divorce with my mom and siblings when I was 14 separated us even further.  I know that he was a guy that wouldn’t let anyone very close to him – but I knew he loved me.

He was also the man who “summoned” me to the piano when I was 6 years old and tested my hearing — and found that, like him, I had perfect pitch and good rhythm as well.

I also share the love for jazz as well as deep, amazing and moving chords with him — so I decided to honor him with the release of my first album, “Conversations With My Father.”

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Credits: Artist, Producer, Arranger, Engineer.  All instruments played by Stephan Oberhoff except; saxophone by Gerald Spikes, vocals by Stephan Oberhoff, Terry Bradford and Kimaya Seward (Kimaya Sher-Khan).

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“AMISTAD”

“The story of the slave ship “Amistad” is my favorite epic movie of Steven Spielberg.  This is the scene I most vividly remember…

The young slave and leader of the tribe who stands before the Supreme Court Judges to pledge for his tribe’s freedom said, “I did not know how to speak to you today; but yesterday, around the fire, I had the intuition that I would look to my ancestors and they would give me the words.”  The judges gazed over to the statues of the founding fathers in the back of the courtroom – and the decision was made. They were set free.

This revelation inspired me to seek to become who I am as a musician and artist – not to just emulate american arrangements and sounds (which I love doing), but to let the Bach-inspired independent string lines come from the cello — and let the Brazilian chromatic movements permeate my chord structures and take me where they wanted me to go.  I found a musical freedom – a joy, which I hope you will discover when listening to “Amistad.”

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Credits: Artist, Producer, Arranger, Engineer.  All instruments played by Stephan Oberhoff except: Flute and Doodook by Pedro Eustache, percussion by Kevin Ricard.

STEPHAN OBERHOFF