Lee Rothenberg was born in Philadelphia and started playing guitar at the age of 14 after studying classical piano for 8 years. His obsession with jazz began at age 16 after spending a summer at Interlochen Arts Camp where he devoted many hours listening to Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane in the listening library. He moved to Evanston, IL in 2000 to attend Northwestern University where he studied with jazz pianist Mike Kocour. During that time, he met one of his heroes, Jazz guitarist Bobby Broom, and began studying with him privately. Another one of Lee's mentors is world class Bassist Dennis Carroll, a member of the Bobby Broom, and Ron Perrillo Trios.
Since his arrival in 2005, guitarist Lee Rothenberg has emerged as an in-demand sideman in the Chicago Jazz Scene. Noted for a style that is deeply rooted in the Jazz Guitar Tradition, Lee's playing exhibits the sacred elements of melody, swing, and creativity.
Lee has performed as both a leader and sideman at venues such as The Green Mill, Andy's, the Jazz Showcase, Pete Millers's, and the Jazz Estate with a venerable list of chicago artists such as Chris Forman, Dennis Carroll, Greg Rockingham, George Fludas, Greg Ward, Dan Trudell, and Bobby Broom. Currently he is working on a quartet record with legendary Multi-Instrumentalist, Ira Sullivan that includes Dennis Carroll on bass, and George Fludas on drums. Stay tuned!!
“Lee Rothenberg is a confident, groovin' player that pulls his own weight!!", Chris Foreman
“ [Lee] is a jazz musician in the truest sense - an honest and thoughtful player who continues, in spite of it all, to follow his calling toward personal excellence in the music he loves.", Bobby Broom