Composer Anita Brown honed her skills as an eight-years fellow in The BMI NY Jazz Composers’ Workshop under the tutelage of Manny Albam, Jim McNeely and Mike Abene, which followed private study with jazz greatLennie Tristano, two degrees in music education and over a decade of self-imposed study through attendance of weekly performances, countless rehearsals and recording sessions of Maria Schneider Orchestra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Carnegie Hall Jazz Band as possible. Most recently she was selected from a pool of national applicants, to participate in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute; American Composers Orchestra’s collaborative effort with Columbia University to be held at UCLA in August 2012. This Intensive portion of the workshop invites jazz composers to expand their writing to the symphony orchestra’s instrumentation, and qualify for readings in Spring 2013.
Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra saw its debut in NYC in 2000, with an independently produced and released debut CD, 27 EAST, in 2003. In 2011, with the premiere production of her large-scale work of performance art, Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra, featuringThe United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, she was awarded aLegislative Proclamation by Hon. Harriet D. Cornell, Chairperson of The Rockland County Legislature, Rockland County, NY, for her uniquely original piece commemorating and depicting the American experience of our national tragedy on 9/11, which publicly proclaimed September 10, 2011 A Day In Honor of Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra by Anita Brown. Additional recognition for this work came from General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of The Marine Corps, Headquarters Marine Corps Pentagon.
For her highly original piece, The Lighthouse, Brown received the 2006 ASCAP/International Jazz Composers’ Symposium New Music Award for Big Band Works bestowed by The Center for Jazz Composition and a panel of the highly esteemed composers, Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton and Dave Douglas. She has written arrangements for The Count Basie Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, The Frank Wess Nonet, vocalists Nnenna Freelon, Judi Silvano, Grammy nominated vocalist, Roseanna Vitro andBobby Short. Her works have also been performed by The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Seacoast Big Band, Diane Moser’s Composers’ Big Band andLas Vegas Academy Jazz Ensembles under her own baton, as well asFrank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band, The U.S. Army’s Jazz Ambassadorsand several college and high school jazz ensembles. She appeared as guest lecturer/clinician at the 2006 Center for Jazz Composition’s Jazz Composers’ Symposium, The 34th Annual IAJE Conference in 2007, and a number of colleges, elementary and secondary schools nationwide, including United States Military Academy at West Point. She was again invited to present her work at the CJC’s 2008 Jazz Composers’ Symposium.
A charter partner of The Jazz Education Network she was granted a column in 2010 in JazzEd Magazine; The Leading Edge illuminates the concepts and artistry of lead playing through the perspective of nine of New York’s finest lead players. In addition to her role as Composer, Conductor and Executive Producer of her ground-breaking, historic production of Stand and of her debut CD, she has produced such liveevents as the Memorial Service Concerts of Manny Albam and recordings and the CD Release Party of The Jim McNeely Tentet: Group Therapy, and assisted/ consulted on production issues on select recordings of Maria Schneider Orchestra, Loren Schoenberg Big Band, Gary Morgan’sPanAmericana, artists Dave Pietro, Michael Hackett and Fran McIntyre.Additional professional credits include music preparation for Don Sebesky, John Pizzarelli, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Manny Albam, Maria Schneider, Toshiko Akiyoshi, McCoy Tyner, The Estate of Gil Evans and as Primary Librarian for The Estate of Manny Albam, was responsible for cataloguing his life’s works, now housed in Rutgers University’s Jazz Archives, Newark, NJ.
Ms. Brown has held teaching posts at Sarah Lawrence College, New Jersey City University, Concordia College and a number of public and independent schools. She is a BMI Composer/Publisher, a self-published author of original teaching materials, member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 802, Fractured Atlas, Jazz Education Network and holds a permanent NY State teaching certificate. Ms. Brown maintains a private studio specializing in beginner studies on piano and most band instruments, jazz composition & arranging and is available for clinics, commissions, festival adjudication and performances.
“The Lighthouse is favorably reminiscent of the works of Evans with Miles Davis on the legendary Sketches of Spain album.”
–Curtis Davenport, Jazz Improv Magazine
For more information visit www.anitabrownmusic.com.
“I’ve known Anita for a long time. She’s developed into an important writer.”
–Lee Konitz, Jazz Master Saxophonist
“Anita has swallowed and legitimately incorporated her influences and sounds only like herself.”
–Larry Kart, Author: Jazz In Search of Itself
“In 27 EAST, Ms. Brown has created a dense, gorgeous palette of sounds; and exciting debut, from an extremely talented composer who has much to say.
–Curtis Davenport, Jazz Improv Magazine
“Anita Brown’s debut recording makes a resounding statement of the wholesomely vital values of big band writing and performance. [Her] giftedness is channeled into her soulful music with strongly perceptible values… Carving out new growth paths…she smoothly weds substance with inspiration and passion, thus fashioning beautiful music. Anita Brown serves serious notice with her maiden voyage orchestra…[and] her unquestioned position of firm strength and resonant originality.”
–Dr. Herb Wong, Jazz Education Journal
“Disarming charts… reveal myriad details of subtle wit and flexible spirit…using brass with the acumen and majesty of Johnny Richards…and wave-like riffs that break into Mingus-like backbeat.”
–Fred Bouchard, DownBeat Magazine
“[Anita’s] compositions are marvelous tone poems…and the band brought them off beautifully. Serious, beautiful writing and a wonderful group. [This] band is in the same category [as] the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Maria Schneider.””
–Marvin Stamm, Trumpet Artist
“A loving, caring band making great music together. Fantastic arrangements. Anita’s charts blew me away!”
–Sheila Jordan, Legendary Jazz Vocalist
“This CD is so good! I’m enjoying it and hear new things every day.”
–Don Sebesky, Arranger/Orchestrator
“This new recording by Anita Brown has been a long time in coming and it is truly worth the wait!! Anita has the ability to write music from the soul and for the soul. Get this CD, you’ll love it! Guaranteed!”
–Jon Faddis, Trumpet Artist
“[Anita] couldn’t have arranged a more impressive coming-out party… aided and abetted on 27 EAST by a blue-chip New York-based ensemble…”
–Jack Bowers, http://www.allaboutjazz.com
“The debut CD of the Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra fills me with hope and lifts my spirit. Her skills as an arranger and bandleader convince me that the future for big bands is in good hands!!”
–Dennis Mackrel, Drummer/Arranger
“This superior album should be treated as a major event within the big band firmament… This is a major work that will transcend any doubts one may have about contemporary big band writing and performance.”
–John Killoch, Mainly Big Bands: http://www.btinternet.com
“Watching her conduct her ABJO performing her own music is to witness joy in its purest form…a journey full of power, depth and imagination.”
–Dr. Judith Schlesinger, http://www.allaboutjazz.com
“Wonderful. A beautifully evocative record! I love it. Gorgeous textures, color, and tones.”
–John Hammel, WNTI FM