John V. Brown, Jr., a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, began studying the bass when he was nine years old and has been performing professionally since his teens. He began performing with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra at thirteen, and was playing Principal Bass with that orchestra while still in high school. At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro he studied with Jack Budrow, and while still an undergraduate he performed with the Roanoke Symphony (VA), the Greensboro Symphony, and the Winston-Salem Symphony and interned with the North Carolina Symphony. In college, John also developed a great love for jazz, and began pursuing careers in both jazz and classical music. During that time, he co-founded a jazz quartet called In the Black with some fellow schoolmates. The group quickly began giving regular performances, most notably at the National Black Musician's Caucus, at Debbie Allen's wrap party for the filming of Stompin' at the Savoy, with vocalist Melva Houston, and opening for Stanley Jordan.
John has performed in the United States and abroad with artists like Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Diahann Carroll, Nell Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Lou Donaldson, Frank Foster, David Fathead Newman, Nicholas Payton, Cedar Walton, Fred Wesley and Mark Whitfield, and he boasts a Grammy? Nomination for his performance and co-writing on Nnenna Freelon's 1995 Concord release, Shaking Free. His extensive experience includes performances at notable venues like Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and at major jazz festivals including the Playboy Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival and Jazz e Vienne.