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Jeremy S. Brown

Artistic Director / Musical Director

Jeremy Brown is Professor of Music and the former Head of the Music Department at the University of Calgary.  In 2009 he was awarded the title of “Canadian Music Ambassador” on 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Music Centre for his efforts in performing and commissioning works by Canadian composers.  In 2008, he was celebrated in a select group of five professors as an “Innovator of the University of Calgary” by the University of Calgary.

As Head of the Department of Music from 2003-2008, he lead in the creation of the Monday Night Jazz Concert Series, Community Music Program, Contrasts Chamber Music Festival, the Masterclass Series, the Protégé Music Program with the Calgary Philharmonic and the Calgary Operetta.  He has also won the University of Calgary “Student’s Union Teaching Excellence Award” and the “Peterkin Award” for Outstanding Achievement in Music Education for the province of Alberta.

His provocative recording of contemporary Canadian saxophone, Rubbing Stone, on the Centredisc label, was nominated as the Outstanding Classical Recording of the Year by the 2010 Western Canadian Music Alliance.  His new recording, Ornamentology, Sonatas of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel with originally composed ornamentation, was released in March 2011 on lightblue records.  He is currently completing two new recordings, a recording of new Canadian music by the Rubbing Stone Ensemble and a recording of the wind band works of Henry Cowell by musicians of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.  He is the lead editor for the new repertoire anthologies and syllabus for the Royal Conservatory of Music saxophone area.

As a musician he has appeared throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan as a conductor, saxophonist, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator of wind bands.  A prolific author, he is currently completing a book, “The Wind Band Music of Henry Dixon Cowell” for Sourcebooks in American Music, Pendragon Press.  He is the founding artistic director of the Rubbing Stone Ensemble, a new music ensemble based in Calgary and former conductor and founding artistic director of the National Concert Band of Canada.

Dr. Brown has published numerous articles in the Instrumentalist, Journal of Band Research, Journal of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Saxophone Symposium, Canadian Band Journal, International Society for the Investigation of Wind Music and Canadian Winds.  He is a contributing editor to Canadian Winds.  He has commissioned more than thirty new works by Canadian composers and also been Artist-In-Residence and a visiting lecturer at the Banff Centre.  Former Artistic Director of the Banff Centre, Isobel Rolston referred to him as “A distinguished teacher and performer.”

Media Reviews

Ottawa Citizen:  “Sax Soloist Brilliant, Conductor Confident in Short But Satisfying Concert”
“Jeremy Brown was brilliant as he would remain throughout the concert.”  (May 2013)

Kenneth Delong, music critic, the Calgary Herald
“Even by today’s demanding performing standards Jeremy Brown is a highly accomplished saxophonist.  Technically, he is able to leap the highest hurdles, and his command of tone and rhythm convey a refined sensibility.”  (May 2011)

Calgary Herald “…afforded Brown the opportunity to tease a wide variety of tone colors from his instrument and to shape the expressive phrases with delicacy and poise.”  (November 10, 2002)

American Record Guide on the Calgary Philharmonic recording Scaramouche:  “Saxophone soloist Jeremy Brown’s creamy smoothness, graceful elegance, and singing tone are ideally suited to Milhaud’s Scaramouche.  Maestro Graf offers such a jazzy and spirited orchestral backdrop that for once I did not miss the original two-piano scoring”.  (December 2002)

 “Montreal International Jazz Festival”
The word on the Calgary jazz scene is Verismo, the elite quintet founded by saxophonists Pat Belliveau and Jeremy Brown, and filled out by bassist John Hyde, pianist Derek Stoll and drummer John De Wall. The modern jazz and hard bop on their self-titled debut was hailed across Canada for its originality, cohesiveness, virtuosity and the brilliance of pieces like “Trojan Horse” and “Winter”. A fresh chinook blows out of the West! (2007)

IAJE Canada Bulletin, Spring 2007
Review by Nick Lavigne

“Straight ahead, truthful jazz and no apologies.” A perfect description of the Calgary based ensemble Verismo. Formed in 2001 by saxophonists Jeremy Brown and Pat Belliveau as a means to explore original compositions and to create/promote artistic growth. With veteran players John Hyde on bass, John de Waal on drums, and Derek Stoll on piano filling out the rest of the band, they, for the most part, accomplish exactly that on their self-titled 2005 release.

Great compositions and playing aside for a moment, the best part of this album is something many jazz records seem to lack: unity. These guys sound like an actual band and not just pros coming together for a recording session and that makes the grooving tunes and hard swinging solos all the sweeter.

Groove is the name of the game on Hyde’s mischievous and catchy composition “Trojan Horse”. Although it will no doubt have listeners wondering “where have I heard this before?” (think back to Michael Brecker’s self-titled 1987 album), the tune serves as a vehicle for blowing and illustrates the second best part of this album which seems to come up again and again: these guys can play.

That leaves the third best part: the tunes. Brown’s “Winter” has Stoll switching to Fender Rhodes for a texture shift, which creates a softer base for the memorable melody and counter melody to glide over. Not only has the majority of the group contributed strong compositions, but they’ve also included tunes that complement their own including Bob Mintzer’s “Sonny” and the infectious “Push” by fellow Calgarian Brian Christensen.

There isn’t much a jazz record needs to be considered “good”: solid players, good tunes, and creativity. When all of those are also groovy, tasteful and musically challenging, it can be great. Luckily for those with an ear to the Canadian jazz scene that’s exactly what Verismo has done. However, this isn’t merely a great “Canadian” jazz album: this is a great jazz album. Period.