American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Ken Ascher is active in jazz, rock, classical, and musical theater genres — in live venues, recording studios, and cinema production. With Paul Williams, he wrote the song “Rainbow Connection” for The Muppet Movie which he offers up here for fans.
Both Williams and Ascher received Oscar nominations for the 1979 Academy Awards for Best Original Song (“Rainbow Connection”) and Best Original Score (The Muppet Movie Soundtrack). The song was also nominated for the Golden Globes for “Best Original Song” that same year.
Ken’s keyboard parts and string arrangements can be heard on John Lennon‘s albums Mind Games, Walls and Bridges and Rock ‘n’ Roll and Yoko Ono‘s A Story, music for several songs from Barbra Streisand‘s remake of A Star Is Born (where he also served as music coordinator), and arrangements for portions of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf‘s masterpiece Bat Out of Hell (produced by Todd Rundgren). Ascher’s own rendition of The Rainbow Connection was featured in the closing credits of The Break-Up (starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston). Ascher is the pianist with the Birdland Big Band.