Anita Brown

PO Box 242 Nyack, NY 10960 845-358-1634
Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra gave its debut performance on August 15, 2000 at The Cutting Room in New York City, under the direction of its founder, composer/conductor Anita Brown. Since then, this dynamic ensemble has given performances at a number of New York?s finest venues including Sweet Rhythm, Steinway Hall and John Birks Gillespie Auditorium and was among the featured performing artists at the 2007 IAJE Annual Conference (NYC) and The 2005 New York Brass Conference. ABJO has been compared to both The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Maria Schneider Orchestras and has been described in the press as a ?blue-chip? ensemble, calling upon ?top drawer New York session? players including a ?platoon of persuasive soloists? breathing life into Ms. Brown?s works with conviction and finesse. As a writer, Anita has been described as a talented, ?original thinker? who writes with passion and ?fresh mind-expanding ideas.? She has a ?unique ear for dissonance? and ?writes music that penetrates your very soul? with ?remarkable craftsmanship? which she conducts with skill, elegance and passion. Brown began building a body of work for jazz orchestra in 1995, during an eight year fellowship in the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers? Workshop under composers Jim McNeely, Manny Albam and Mike Abene. Her works were featured annually beginning in 1997, and she was a finalist in its 2001 and 2003 Charlie Parker Composition Competitions. She independently produced and released her debut CD ?Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra: 27 EAST? in 2003, which appeared in six categories on the ballot for the 46th Grammy Awards. It continues to receive international acclaim since its release. For her highly original piece, ?The Lighthouse,? Ms. Brown received the ASCAP/International Jazz Composers? Symposium New Music Award for Big Band Works in 2006 bestowed by The Center for Jazz Composition and a panel of the highly esteemed composers, Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton and Dave Douglas. ?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 Her seasoned players are among those who make the New York and international jazz scenes tick. A brief list of their collective playing and recording credits includes associations with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Harry Connick, Jr., Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Mingus Big Band, John Pizzarelli, Jr., Tony Bennett, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Donald Fagen, Liza Minelli, Burt Bacharach, The New York Philharmonic, The New York Pops, countless Broadway shows, TV jingles and films. Brown has also premiered original works with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, BMI New York Jazz Orchestra, and The Seacoast Big Band under her own baton. In April 2005 she was the first composer commissioned by The Center for Jazz Composition to write and conduct arrangements featuring Nnenna Freelon with Chuck Owen?s Jazz Surge for its Jazz Masterworks Inaugural Gala Celebrations. One of these arrangements was recently featured by Ms. Freelon and Frank Foster?s Loud Minority Big Band at The Jazz Foundation of America?s ?A Great Night In Harlem? Gala Fundraiser Concert, May 29, 2008 at The Apollo Theater. On June 2, 2008 she premiered ?Remembrance,? an original piece dedicated to the late bassist, Dennis Irwin, with The VJO at The Village Vanguard, under her direction. Other bands engaging her arranging services include The Count Basie Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Roseanna Vitro with The NJ Performing Arts Center Faculty, Bobby Short, and The Westchester Jazz Orchestra for which she is one of the staff arrangers. Her works have been performed by The U.S. Army?s Jazz Ambassadors, Diane Moser?s Composers? Big Band, Las Vegas Academy Jazz Ensembles and several college and high school jazz ensembles. She has 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. She was again invited to present her work at the CJC?s 2008 Jazz Composers? Symposium. In addition to clinician appearances Ms. Brown has served as an adjudicator for The CJC?s first International Jazz Arranging Competition, honoring Michael Brecker, as well as a number of high school jazz festivals. Anita?s strengths and interests extend to various aspects of production. In addition to producing all facets of 27 EAST she has been sought out to contribute these talents to such live events and recordings as the Memorial Service Concerts of Manny Albam and John Stubblefield, CD Release Party of The Jim McNeely Tentet: ?Group Therapy,? and select recordings of Maria Schneider Orchestra, Loren Schoenberg Big Band, Gary Morgan?s PanAmericana, artists Dave Pietro, Michael Hackett and Fran McIntyre. Brown is currently a member of the jazz faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and New Jersey City University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate Jazz Composition and Arranging.  Ms. Brown and her band are available for commissions, performances and clinics.
?Anita has swallowed and legitimately incorporated her influences and sounds only like herself.?
–Larry Kart, Author of Jazz In Search of Itself
ABJO will perform a number of new selections in addition to favorites from “27 EAST”
Music Charge
(It goes to the band!)