Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Born Nick Ali on the small Caribbean island of Trinidad, schooled in New York City under Grammy winner Randy Brecker’s watchful eye and now called Canada’s preeminent jazz trumpeter by New York City’s Village Voice magazine, the ever dynamic Brownman tirelessly leads no less than 7 highly respected ensembles of his own. He is best known for his work as the leader of Canada's premiere latin-jazz ensemble CRUZAO and his electrified Miles Davis' influenced BROWNMAN ELECTRYC TRIO (2007 National Jazz Award winner for Electric Jazz Group of the Year). Despite the demands of leading 7 groups he continues to be one of the most called upon trumpet players in the studio industry, his recording credits sitting at just over 250 records to date, making him one of the most recorded trumpet players in Canadian history.
He is currently the featured soloist with the legendary New York City jazz-hip-hop artist GURU (of Gangstarr fame) for his JAZZMATAZZ ensemble and appeared on the Oct/Nov cover of CODA, Canada’s most acclaimed jazz magazine. Since returning to Canada from NYC, he has been on the cutting edge of modern music in the nation for the last decade, winning multiple awards nationally and achieving international recognition while touring the globe.
Please visit www.Brownman.com for more information on this critically acclaimed young artist.
2007 NOW Magazine's Toronto Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year
2007 National Jazz Award for Electric Jazz Group of the Year
2007 A staggering 5 nominations at the National Jazz Awards
2006 National Jazz Award nominee for Latin-jazz artist of the Year
2005 NOW Magazine's Toronto Jazz Artist of the Year.
2004 Brownman & CRUZAO - Independant Music Award nominee
2003 MARRON MATIZADO - Best Toronto Salsa Band (SalsaSPOT)
2002 Canadian Jazz Composer of the Year (National Jazz Award)
2002 National Jazz Award nominee for Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year
2001 winner of the Montreal Jazz Fest's Grand Prix Du Jazz Award.
2001 CRUZAO awarded the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award
3 time nominee for Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year (NJA).
CRUZAO - 3 time nominee for Electric Group of the Year (NJA).
Born 'Nick Ali' on the small Caribbean island of Trinidad, the multiple award winning Brownman is the NYC-schooled protégé to his teacher, Grammy-winning trumpet legend Randy Brecker. In the spirit of supreme trumpet genre-crossing visionaries such as Brecker and Miles Davis, he tirelessly leads and composes actively for no less than 6 ensembles of his own and is a musical director and/or featured soloist in countless others; testament to his unparalleled diversity of musical vision and skills making him one of Canada's most decorated jazz artists and highly in demand session calls for both Universal and Sony recording studios in forms of music ranging from be-bop to hip-hop. As a featured soloist he has appeared with Canada's leading Latin, urban, hiphop, reggae, island and DJ artists in addition to his foundational jazz milieu. With just under 200 recording credits to his name - many of these albums having won or been nominated for Junos (Canada's Grammy) - he is considered to be one of the most unique and provocative improvising trumpet players on the scene today, recently being called Canada's preeminent jazz trumpeter by NYC's Village Voice.
As a leader his mult-award winning latin-jazz-urban ensemble CRUZAO has toured this country's jazz festival and club circuit extensively, being called by the Globe and Mail the most in demand jazz ensemble of 2002. The group would win the Montreal Jazz Fest's coveted Grand Prix du Jazz award leading to his being signed to the Justin Time Records label, simultaneous to winning a CBC-Galaxie Rising Star award. The subsequent 2002 release of Shades Of Brown would rocket to #1 on national jazz charts and remain there for 3 months. He would be awarded a National Jazz Award for Composer of the Year for the tunes he composed on that same recording. Europe welcomed the NICK ALI TRIO in 2002 & 2003 and the BROWNMAN ELECTRYC TRIO in 2004 as the group toured the continent and recorded 2 records released on European labels. 2005 would see an extensive Canadian touring in early months of the year and the later with a South American tour beginning in Cuba. At the personal invitation of legendary pianist Chucho Valdes, he would represent Canada at the Havana Jazz Festival; leading CRUZAO HAVANA comprised of an all-Cuban rhythm section featuring members of the essential Afro-Cuban ensemble IRAKERE performing original Brownman compositions as recorded by CRUZAO. This performance marked the beginning of a two month extensive tour of South and Central America concluding with a gig with GARY BARTZ in Belize and a recording session in Cuba with legendary timba group CHISPA Y LOS COMPLICES. Brownman is currently recording a second release with CRUZAO, simultaneous to a recording of his energized Miles Davis influenced ELECTRYC TRIO.
With over 3000 live performances to date, and close to 250 recording credits as a studio musicians - Brownman has performed or recorded with the likes of:
Wayne Shorter, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Gary Bartz, Charlie Hunter, Gary Thomas, Soulive, Fertile Ground, Kenny Wheeler, Hugh Fraser, Don Thompson, Kirk Macdonald, Pat Labarbera, Dave Restivo, Dave Young, Stich Wynston, Kelly Jefferson, Mike Murley, Quincin Nachoff, Rita Di Ghent, Heather Bambrick, Philosopher Kings, Dave Matthews Band, Jennifer Lopez (appearing in Angel Eyes the movie) Kyprios, Rikoshay, K-OS, Guru (from Gangstarr), KRS-1, Pocket Dwellers, Divine Brown, Grüvoria, Juke Joint, One Step Beyond, Kush, Jason Wilson, Tabarruk, D'bi Young, Dub Trinity, Kobo Town, Chucho Valdes & Irakere, NG La Banda, Chispa & Los Complices, Diakara, Hilario Duran, Energia Latina, Chiva, Bestial, Cimarron, Tumbao Inc., Ricky Franco, Fito Blanko, Eliana Cuevas, Plan C, Macondo, Pacande, Banda Bella, Dominicanada & far too many more to list here.
Brownman leads and composes actively for 6 groups of his own, all of which have gained critical acclaim in their own diverse idioms - the award-winning latin-jazz unit CRUZAO, a 15-man large ensemble version of that group - CRUZAO GRUPO MONSTRUOSO, jazz-hip-hop group GRUVASYLUM, mainstream hard-swinging threesome The NICK ALI TRIO, the Miles Davis influenced BROWNMAN ELECTRYC TRIO and the 10-piece Salsa powerhouse MARRON MATIZADO.
- NYC's Village Voice
... the most versatile hornman in Canada
- Chicago Tribune
... virtuostic, energized and in the spirit of Miles Davis
- Toronto's NOW Magazine.
One of the next great voices in the new generation of jazz improvisers
- Randy Brecker, multi-grammy winning legendary trumpeter
Brownman... Remarkable writing and burning energy
- John Scofield, jazz guitar giant
... a truly gifted improviser with an original creative voice...
- Gary Bartz, saxophonist with Miles Davis
... uniquely creative and fearless - like a young Miles Davis
- Guru, legendary hip-hop icon from Gangstarr/Jazzmatazz fame
Brownman & CRUZAO... deliciously quirky & invigorating... seethes with energy, particularly showing off the skills of trumpeter Brownman Ali and his brother Marcus on alto sax.
- Toronto Star
Brownman & CRUZAO... the finest latin-jazz group Canada's ever produced
Brownman & CRUZAO breaks down the boundaries between latin, jazz and urban music in the most innovative way I've seen yet. We may be looking at the evolution of latin-jazz here.
- Memo Acevedo, NY University professor of Latin-jazz
Nick Brownman Ali... a warm, personable soloist displaying an engaging mix of quirks and lyricism.
- Toronto's Globe and Mail
Brownman... Nick Ali... Marrón... this young trumpet player has as many names as he has skills
- Canada Picante Xpress Latin Magazine
Energy is never in short supply in Brownman Ali's world. This Toronto/Trinidadian trumpeter loves skipping from style to style almost as much as he digs mixing it up with the jazz elite
- CBC Radio Canada
Monette B11 mouthpiece