Neumann, who plays soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, as well as flute and clarinet, is also a composer and arranger, and was honored as the jazz Composer/Arranger of the Year at the 20th Annual Jazz Tribute and Awards in 2002 in Los Angeles, an event sponsored by the L. A. Jazz Society. At the 2012 tribute and awards, Neumann received the Jazz Educator of the Year Award, which he shared with fellow-educator, trombonist Scott Whitfield.
Neumann, a native of Spencer, Iowa, attended Morningside College in Sioux City, and Berklee School of Music in Boston. In between, he was the band director at Guthrie Center, Iowa. In 2005 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Morningside. Roger move to the Los Angeles area in 1968, and joined the staff at jazz camp in 1984.
As an arranger and composer, Neumann has written for Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Ray Charles, The Raelettes, Ray Brown, Ray Anthony, The Beach Boys, Jerry Garcia, and others. He has written arrangements for the T.V. series, “The Young and the Restless,” “Moonlighting,” “Hollywood Wives.” and “My Favorite Martian.” He also wrote arrangements for several “Ice Capades” Christmas specials.
As a saxophonist, Neumann has performed with Woody Herman, the Lee Castle/Jimmy Dorsey Band, The Beach Boys, Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Tex Beneke, and Bob Crosby, to name a few. Currently he plays and writes for the jazz group called "The Phil Norman Tentet." His playing has been featured on the sound-tracks of several "Drive-In Classics" movies for the Showtime channel, plus the movies “Three Men and a Little Lady,” and “Mumford.” He has appeared on screen in the movies, “LaBamba,” “My Favorite Year,” and “For the Boys.”
Roger formed his own big band in L.A., and produced two CD’s, entitled, “Introducing Roger Neumann’s Rather Large Band,” and “Instant Heat!” His Rather Large Band also backed up his wife, vocalist Madeine Vergari, on her CD, called “This Is My Lucky Day!"