John Brown

The Performance

When music is powered by John Brown, there’s always a surge.

It’s peerless musicianship, regardless of the number of bandstands on stage. As a sought-after bass player, Brown has performed with Wynton & Ellis Marsalis, Rosemary Clooney, Diahann Carroll, Elvin Jones, Frank Foster, Nicholas Payton & many more. He’s shared the stage at Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, the Kennedy Center & Hollywood Bowl. Festival appearances include the Playboy Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival and Jazz à Vienne in France. And we shouldn’t ignore the command performance for the President of the United States…

With a platter of band configurations to choose from, John Brown’s jazz has the ability to set any size of venue into full-tilt swing, plus bring brilliantly crafted educational outreach to students from young kids to university master classes. Brown’s credentials and skills as Director of Jazz Studies at Duke University guarantee an artist educator’s eye, ear & vision in introducing the world of jazz to everyone. And his long-standing record of residences funded through the North Carolina Arts Council and endorsed by their cARTwheels program are powerful endorsement.

The Rodrigo Dorfman documentary “One Night in Kernersville,” winner as Audience Favorite Short at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, takes you into the center of the Big Band and the recording of their “Setting Standards” CD. The John Brown Quintet’s first recording hit #8 and stayed in the Top 50 JazzWeek chart for sixteen consecutive weeks.

Each John Brown ensemble offers a wide range of jazz performances and themed concerts. Specialized programs include “The Music of John Coltrane,” “The Music of Duke Ellington,” “The Music of Frank Sinatra,” “The Music of Miles Davis,” “A Night of Bebop” and “Pages from the Great American Songbook.” His commitment to education, his outreach with workshops and special performances for young children and teenagers, and his unending support of up-and-coming musicians who’ve found their true heartbeats, is unequalled. When your venue hosts John Brown, it doesn’t matter how many horns and cases are coming out of the car, the van or the bus. Your audience is going to swing, cause that’s what happens when you get “John Brown’d.”

Take your pick from the following outstanding ways to swing:

  • The John Brown Trio – piano, bass & drums
  • The John Brown Quintet – adding two frontline horns to the trio
  • John Brown’s Little Big Band -- 10-12 musicians (& eat less food than the Big Band)
  • Carolina Big Band – 17-20 of the swinging-est players from NC & SC

In a Word…

“With stellar musicianship from world-class players and fresh treatments of select jazz standards fro the Ellington songbook, this is one swinging tribute of which the Duke would surely have approved." - Jazz Life Japan

“…a phenomenal jazz musician, composer, educator and one of the most articulate people you’ll ever meet.” - Riveting Riffs

“Raising the bar for bassists.” - International Musician Magazine

“…personality and sass, an emotive performance… All the musicians play fabulously...and have created a CD that is inspired and is invested with imagination.” - Jazz Police

“Brown’s woody bass tones are resounding and full of soulful authority… brilliant bass solo… solidly swinging and full of deep feeling from start to finish.” - Jazz Times

A Presenter's Point of View

Hundreds of children from grades K-5 laughed and clapped and had a wonderful time learning about the various instruments used in jazz compositions and how sometimes we experience jazz in everyday life without even realizing it. John Brown and his musicians were so generous with their time, answering questions after the show and meeting students in the lobby. Knowing that we can ask for anything from the John Brown Trio to the large John Brown Jazz Orchestra and get such quality performance, we would welcome John Brown and his musicians back at any time!
Laura Sims, Dir., FMU Performing Arts Center, Florence, SC

John Brown’s talents and musical output are remarkable. With each performance, he inspires musicians and audiences alike. His groups’ diversity of styles, the very apparent personal & professional love they have for each other, the utter lack of ever phoning in a single note is such a gift to an audience. There’s a twinkle in every eye on that stage, a trace of someone’s mischievous grin that keeps us all anticipating what comes next. The music is far larger than any single group’s configuration denotes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s “trio,” “quartet,” “quintet,” “big band”... There’s orchestra and symphony in the hall. There’s phenomenal musicality. It’s humbling virtuosity with every tune. The man’s probably making music while he sleeps. It’s involuntary, and non-stop.
T. Harding, Thalian Hall, Wilmington, NC

Live Performance Preview

John Brown Big Band - Lulu's Back in Town from John Brown on Vimeo.

John Brown, The Musician & The Educator

John Brown - Overview of Performances & Teaching from John Brown on Vimeo.