Warren Ertle (b.1993) is a composer, arranger, pianist, and bandleader based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A native of Central Mississippi, he began studying percussion and jazz/blues piano at a young age, and wrote small arrangements to be performed in church. He studied composition with Benjamin Williams and piano with Angela Willoughby at Mississippi College, where he earned at Bachelor of Music degree. Upon graduating from MC, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended the Army School of Music as a pianist. He now serves as the pianist and staff arranger of the Forty-First Army Band of the Mississippi National Guard. Ertle went on to earn a Master of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2019, where his primary teachers were Curtis K. Hughes and Jonathan Bailey Holland. In 2023, he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Alabama, where he studied composition with Tyler Bradley Walker and jazz arranging with Daniel Western. He has also been mentored by Amir Zaheri, Thomas Robinson, and James Sclater. He has recently taught piano and theory at Belhaven University and is currently an adjunct instructor of music at Shelton State Community College.
Ertle’s works have been performed and commissioned both nationally and internationally. Highlights include: String Quartet No. II: The W.C. Handy Suite, commissioned by the Shoals Symphony at UNA and premiered in conjunction with the W.C. Handy Music Festival in July 2023; SeaQueens, a dance film created with choreographer George Wilson-Berry about the 1919 Newport, RI “Naval sex scandal” and premiered at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa; Framing Silence, commissioned by a consortium (Jason Baker, Jason Kiehl, The Hinds CC Percussion Studio, The Mississippi State University Percussion Studio, The University of North Texas Percussion Studio, and the Mississippi Percussive Arts Society) and received multiple performances in the Southeast, Texas, Boston, and Brazil; Beneath the Magnolias, commissioned by the Hinds CC Wind Ensemble in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Hinds Community College.
Ertle’s music has also been performed by the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (forum), the Forty-First Army Band, Delta State University Wind Ensemble, the University of Alabama Capstone Quartet, the Boston Conservatory Chorus, the Mississippi College Symphonic Winds, Verismo Trio, Jesse Christeson, Thulani Senzo Mnisi, Satrina Massey, and Hosea Griffith.
He has received awards and honors from Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, the National Federation of Music Clubs, The Massachusetts National Guard, The Mississippi National Guard, The Chief of Army National Guard Bands, Mississippi College, The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, and the Meridian Arts Council.
Aside from composing, Ertle remains an avid performer, researcher, and promoter of Ragtime and Early Jazz music, performing regularly throughout the Southeast as a soloist. He has been a finalist twice at the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. He performs in the duo Yellow Cocktail Music with vocalist, Jamie Shannon, whose performances focus on early jazz and the Great American Songbook. In 2019, he founded GreenLight Jazz Orchestra with three other Berklee students. The ensemble performed the “traditional” jazz repertoire alongside brand new compositions, and appeared at FirstNight Boston 2020 and multiple times on NBC Boston before disbanding in March 2020. He is currently the bandleader, pianist, and arranger/composer of Dr. Warren Ertle’s Corpse Revivers, a “hot jazz” band that performs 1920s-1930s jazz in the authentic style along with new compositions and arrangements.
As a sideman, he has performed with Dan Gabel & The Abletones, Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Category VI Jazz Combo, The Terry Miller Project, the 215th Army Band, The Mississippi Wind Symphony, The U.S. Army TRADOC Band, the Forty-First Army Band, Vince Giordano, Arnt Arntzen, John Clark, Jeff Hughes, Dan Gabel, and Kimberly Hawkey.
Upcoming projects include the release of a studio album, the further development of SeaQueens, new works for piano trio, chamber orchestra, and chorus. He will also continue performance engagements with Yellow Cocktail Music, Dr. Warren Ertle’s Corpse Revivers, and solo.
Ertle serves as a board member of the American Big Band Preservation Society, Inc. and is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.