Active since: June 17, 1959
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....
Awards-Arrangement selected for Jazz Foundation of America "A Great Night in Harlem," Gala Fundraiser, Apollo Theater, May 29, 2008: "Don't Explain" performed by Nnenna Freelon with Frank Foster's Loud Minority Big Band under the direction of Cecil Bridgewater.
-Invited performing artist: Anita Brown Jazz Orchesta, 2007 IAJE Conference, New York City.
-Invited Clinician: "Parameters & Options in Big Band Writing," Anita Brown, 2007 IAJE Conference, New York City.
-First recipient of ASCAP/International Jazz Composers’ Symposium New Music Award for Big Band Works for her piece, "The Lighthouse," bestowed by The Center for Jazz Composition and a panel of the highly esteemed composers, Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton and Dave Douglas, March 2006.
-Invited Clinician for First International Jazz Composers’ Symposium, Center for Jazz Composition: presentation of analysis of "The Lighthouse," March 2006.
-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, April 2005.
- The Foundation for Public Education Grant: Educational re-granting program for her original, supplementary curriculum for secondary school instrumental programs, "The Composer Residency Project," White Plains Public Schools, White Plains, NY, 2004.
-The Ted Arnold Creative Teaching Grant: Educational re-granting program for her original, supplementary curriculum for elementary school recorder programs, "Let's Compose!," Lincoln Park Public Schools, Lincoln Park, NJ, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
-BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop, Charlie Parker Composition Competition Finalist: 2001 (for "27 EAST") and 2003 (for "Shifting Tides of Montauk").
-BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop Fellow, 1995-2003.
27 EastSelf Produced
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- 27 East by Jack Bowers