The Jeremy Brown Collective was created in 2018 to explore new music in a variety of forms, instrumentation and musical genres. In the first year, it has been comprised of jazz, classical, and rock musicians performing free (improvised) music as well as compositions by members of the collective. The choice of music has been driven to some extent by Jeremy Brown, a multi-instrumentalist who performs in a variety of styles and who composed the group in 2018 for a concert in the School of Creative and Performing Arts. This concert combines the talents of multi-instrumentalist and singer Amy Stephen, percussionist Robin Tufts, bassist Jesse Schwartz and Jeremy Brown.
Jeremy Brown is Professor of Music at the University of Calgary (1990-present) and performs as a jazz, classical and free improviser primarily on the saxophone. He is also a woodwind doubler and performs frequently as a flautist, clarinetist and on penny whistle. He has been conductor of the wind bands at the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts (arts.ucalgary.ca/schools/creative-performing-arts) and is in his twenty-third year as conductor of the Calgary Wind Symphony (calgarywindsymphony.com). He was the saxophone soloist with the National Youth Band of Canada in 2015, sponsored by Yamaha Canada, and again as conductor/artistic director in 2017, an unprecedented double invitation. He was founding artistic director and conductor of the National Concert Band of Canada, 2002-2010, an auditioned youth band of students form across Canada.
As an author, he has written numerous pedagogical articles for the Instrumentalist magazine among many other periodicals. His recent book The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell (Routledge Press, 2018, routledge.com) includes definitive recordings of Cowell’s band music with the winds of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Brown. He was series editor and lead compiler of the first-ever Royal Conservatory of Music Saxophone Series (Frederick Harris Music, 2014, www.rcmusic.com), a multi-volume saxophone anthology with graded repertoire, etudes, technical studies and orchestral excerpts. It is used widely in Canada and abroad for examinations and pedagogical purposes
His recording of Wayfaring (2014) by Nova Pon was nominated as the Outstanding Classical composition of 2015 by the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2010, his CD recording of Canadian solo and chamber music for saxophone, “Rubbing Stone” was nominated outstanding classical record of the year, again by the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2017, he was nominated for the Student’s Union Teaching Award, first awarded to him by the University of Calgary Student’s Union in 1999. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural University of Calgary Teaching Award by the Faculty of Arts. In 2009 he was recognized at Southam Hall in Ottawa as “Canadian Music Ambassador” by the Canadian Music Centre for his commissioning and performing music by Canadian composers, with now more than sixty works commissioned. In 2008, he was named one of five “Innovator’s of the University of Calgary” for his community outreach with the Salvation Army. In 2007 was awarded the David Peterkin Award for his contribution to music education in Alberta by the Alberta Band Association.
His university ensembles have been widely recognized for original programming and performing excellence. The U of C Jazz Orchestra won the Outstanding Ensemble Award at the 2013 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and ten outstanding soloist awards at the 2014 Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Chicago, Illinois and numerous soloist awards at the 2018 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Currently, Dr. Brown is working with Joe Morris, of the New England Conservatory in a recording of free music for saxophone, clarinet and guitar to be released in late 2019. The “Tenor Saxophone Legacy Project” with Jack Wilkins and Per Danielsson performed in Europe (July 2019) at the College Music Society International Music Conference. He has recorded numerous records, including Scaramouche with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, (2003, CBC records) In the Company of My Soul (2003, Arktos Label), Ornamentology (lightblue records) Rubbing Stone (2010, Centredisc Label), The Lethbridge Sessions (2014, Centredisc Label) Music for Soup (2015) and Verismo Jazz Quintet (2005).
Amy Stephen grew up in Vancouver, surrounded by Scottish bagpipes and family sing-alongs, and has played traditional Celtic music for most of her life. Her instruments include accordion, Celtic harp & penny whistle. She was a founding member of acclaimed Canadian Celtic band Mad Pudding, and has toured and performed over the years at many international festivals and concert series. Amy is also a composer and collaborator with groups such as the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Jou Tou / Silk Road Music, Amir Haghighi and musica intima. She is a busy studio musician playing on soundtracks and recording projects, and she loves to collaborate with musicians of all backgrounds. For more info: www.amystephenmusic.com
Jesse Schwartz is a Calgary-based bassist and composer who performs with the local band Long Time, No Time and was previously a member of the University of Calgary Jazz Orchestra. A versatile musician, he records, composes and performs in a variety of styles.
Robin Tufts is a drummer, percussionist, improviser and dance accompanist. Robin is very active in the Calgary jazz community, playing and recording with his own Trio Velocity, The Lorna MacLachlan Group, Viviane Martin, The Northern Lights Jazz Quartet, Mapl, Andrea Petrity, and Mark DeJong. Other performing and accompanying credits include, the celtic group Seanachie, the klezmer band Klezmerovitz, flamenco guitarist Peter Knight, poet Sheri-d Wilson, Lynn Miles, Bob Day, Guido Basso, Alberta Ballet, Decidedly Jazz Dance, Dancers Studio West and Stage West. For 20 years, Robin has been the group leader of accompanists for the Program of Dance at the University of Calgary. In the past seven years, Robin has begun a re-exploration of his life-long passion for spontaneous improvisation. This has led to “Music for Soup”, a series of house concerts featuring performances of spontaneous duets with musical guests Keith Smith, Simon Fisk, Raulito Tabera, Peter Clark, Mark DeJong, Bill Horist, Austin Tufts and Jeremy Brown to date. The Music for Soup project has resulted in the release of seven self-produced limited-edition CDs.