Alan Broadbent was born in Auckland, New Zealand and in 1966, at the age of 19, received a Downbeat Magazine scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1969 he was asked to join Woody Herman's band as his pianist and arranger for 3 years. In 1972 he settled in Los Angeles, beginning a musical relationship with the legendary singer Irene Kral (no relation to Diana Krall). Soon he was also invited into the studio scene as a pianist for the great Nelson Riddle, David Rose and Johnny Mandel. In the early 90s he was asked to be a part of Natalie Cole's famous "Unforgettable" cd, at which time he toured as her pianist and, a little while later, as her conductor. At this time he wrote an orchestral arrangement for her second video with her dad, "When I Fall In Love", which won him his first Grammy for "best orchestral arrangement accompanying a vocal".
Shortly after, he became a member of Charlie Haden's Quartet West, touring the festivals of Europe, UK and the USA. It was while with this group that he won his second Grammy, an orchestral accompaniment written for Shirley Horn of Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town". As a soloist and with his jazz trio, Broadbent has been nominated for Grammys twice for best instrumental performance, in the company of such artists as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Keith Jarrett. In 2007 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit, an honor he holds in high regard.