Internationally acclaimed jazz trumpet player Brownman Ali, now heralded by the New York Village Voice as “Canada’s preeminent jazz trumpet player” visited the ONNtv Studio for ‘Mornings with Lou-Anne and Tim’ during his weekend visit to the Sault.
Born in Trinidad, schooled in New York and now splitting his time between Toronto, Canada and Brooklyn, New York, leading no less than a staggering 8 groups of his own, all signed to his Brooklyn based label BROWNTASAURAS RECORDS, he spent 4 years touring the globe with the legendary rapper GURU (of Gangstarr fame) as the featured soloist for Guru’s Jazzmatazz from 2006 to 2010. He has since performed with the likes of Jay-z, Missy Elliot, Mos Def, Paul Simon and Quincy Jones.
Brownman’s powerful signature sound as a soloist has been compared to that of Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, and has made him one of the most recognizable trumpet players in North America today. And he’s here in Sault Ste. Marie for three days performing five different concerts at LopLops ELECTRO-JAZZ WEEKEND FESTIVAL, which will feature him in a variety of funkified jazz settings over the weekend.
Maclean and Brown came together through Chelsea McBridge, who runs a 22-piece jazz orchestra called ‘The Socialist Night School.’ Maclean was her piano player and Brown toured with them. Brown described their musical connection as “very rare. We arrive at the same place through different means.”
Brown prides himself on signing the next generation of Jazz musicians, keeping the genre alive and progressive. “There are two camps in Jazz. There’s the ‘we need to preserve this art form’ camp and the ‘this is the music of tomorrow, the evolution of an art form’ camp. I like to look forward and be progressive.”
The festivities will kick off tonight (Friday) at 9:00pm with the Nick Maclean Quartet, a 26-year-old rising star in Toronto’s jazz community and winner of three Global Music Awards who is signed to Brown’s label. Tickets are $20 a piece. On Saturday, Brown’s latin-jazz group ARECIBO will take the street stage outside LopLops at 3pm for a free event. Saturday night the party will continue with the Brownman Electryc Trio at Loplops, bringing the audience their ultra-modern electric-jazz sounds. Tickets are $20 a piece. At 3pm on Sunday, Brown and Nick Mclean will pay Tribute to Herbert Jeffrey ‘Herbie’ Hancock, with tickets at $10 per person. The festivities will close off on Sunday night with My son the Hurricane, a 14-piece brasshop funk beast from Toronto/Niagara Region, where Brown will guest on a few tunes. Tickets for this show are unfortunately sold out.
Brown is dedicated to exposing people to this type of music, which is why he is happy to be visiting the Sault this weekend for the first time since 2011. The invitation was extended to a number of promoters to have Brown perform as he had a lull in his tour dates, and Steve Alexander, owner of LopLops, jumped on it.
Tickets for all other shows can be purchased here.