Musical director on popular talent competition 'Dancing with the Stars.' He was the second African American to conduct the Oscars. He worked as musical director for Burt Bacharach, becoming the first African American musical director for a major pop artist.
He was first hired as a music arranger on "Don't Play Us Cheap" in 1973. He also arranged for Tony Orlando and Nina Simone.
He was awarded the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations in 2003 for his work on "Hairspray" and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the NAACP Theatre Awards in 2008.
He married Broadway actress Hattie Winston.
He, John Williams, and Paul Shaffer conducted the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremonies.