Hometown: St. louis, Missouri
Web site: http://jeribrown.com
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With a swoop of delight return Jeri Brown to the international performance stage this February. "As an avant garde jazz singer, I am sometimes amazed by the different styles that jazz audiences are wanting to hear. Sometimes it is nostalgic standards from the great jazz vocalists, composers, and arrangers of the past. Others want to hear something 'new, fresh,and experimental'. Still others want the mix of something urban to fuse with heavy bebop or hard bop or strong contemporary world musical settings. What I like about returning to the stage, is that I love it all. I try to inspire within my vocal range and childlike passion for good musical interaction! I was born to improvise."
Jeri Brown (born 1952 in Missouri) is an American living in Canada as a jazz singer, songwriter, producer and professor.
Life and work
Jeri Brown grew up in St. Louis, where she first appeared in public at age six. In Iowa, she studied classical singing, and later appeared in the Midwestern United States and Europe. After graduating, she lived in Cleveland, where she worked with the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. She performed in Ohio with the band of drummer and bandleader Bob McKee. As a consequence, she had collaborations with artists such as Ellis Marsalis, Billy Taylor and Dizzy Gillespie.
Jeri Brown then worked mainly in the jazz scene of the Cleveland area, focused on jazz standard material, wrote lyrics and collaborated with composers such as Henry Butler, Kenny Wheeler, Greg Carter and Cyrus Chestnut. In 1991, Brown signed with the Canadian Justin Time label. She has been under contract with this label since her debut album Mirage, where she was accompanied by pianist Fred Hersch and bassist Daniel Lessard. In 1992 she recorded Unfolding The Peacocks with Kirk Lightsey and Peter Leitch. This album contained the bebop standard "If You Could See Me Now" and "Woody N' You". In 1998, she produced two albums for Justin Time Records - Zaius & Iíve Got Your Number with Leon Thomas, David Murray, Don Braden, John Hicks, Curtis Lundy and Avery Sharpe. She sang standards like "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise", Blue Skies medley, The Creator Has a Master Plan, Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be and "You Must Believe in Spring".
Brown taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cleveland State University and the University of Akron in Ohio. Brown has also worked at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has held various teaching positions in Canada, including at Concordia University and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.
Jeri Brown is a recipient of the 2005 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award.
Mirage (Justin Time Records, 1991)
Unfolding The Peacocks (Justin Time Records, 1993)
Timeless Place (Justin Time Records, 1994)
Fresh Start (Justin Time Records, 1996)
April in Paris (Justin Time Records, 1996)
Zaius (Justin Time Records, 1998)
I've Got Your Number (Justin Time Records, 1999)
Image in the Mirror: The Triptych (Justin Time Records, 2001)
Firm Roots (Justin Time Records, 2003)
Sempre Nina - A Tribute to Nina Simone (Jongleur Productions, 2005)
New Wonderland: The Best of Jeri Brown (Justin Time Records, 2007)
Storytelling, with Woody Woods (Jongleur Productions, 2011)
Echoes: Live At Catalina Jazz Club (Jongleur Productions, 2013)
Music, Video, Image and Lyric Samples:
jeri'sdec.6poetry.doc - To a New Wonderland
In my youth, I learned to express musically,
To pay homage to a vocal tradition before me.
I learned to let go in a vocal spree,
Frolicking and just being myself,
Whimsical, curious, in a music solidified