Born on the small Caribbean island of Trinidad, schooled in New York City under Randy Brecker’s watchful eye and now heralded as ‘Canada’s preeminent jazz trumpeter’ by New York City’s Village Voice magazine, Brownman tirelessly leads no less than 7 highly respected ensembles of his own spanning genres from be-bop to hip-hop. He is best known for his work as the leader of Canada’s premiere latin-jazz ensemble CRUZAO (winners of the 2001 Montreal Jazz Fest’s ‘Grand Prix du Jazz award’ & 5-time nominee at the National Jazz Awards for ‘Electric Group of the Year’) and his electrified Miles Davis’ influenced BROWNMAN ELECTRYC TRIO (2007 National Jazz Award winner for ‘Electric Jazz Group of the Year’ are amongst the many other accolades the group has received). He has garnered 11 nominations over the years at the National Jazz Awards (including 2 wins); Toronto’s leading independent weekly NOW Magazine featured him as the cover story in 2003, naming him ‘Toronto’s Best Jazz Musician’ in 2006 and ‘Toronto’s Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year’ in 2007; he was inducted into the ‘Who’s Who Of Black Canada’ in 2011; and after 4 years of nominations at the Toronto Independent Music Award, the Brownman Electryc Trio took home a win for ‘Jazz Artist of the Year’ in 2012.
Despite the demands of leading 7 ensembles & international touring he is still one of the most called upon trumpet players in the studio scene; his long list of recording credits — more than 300 to date over a staggering range of styles — make him ‘one of the most recorded trumpet players in Canadian history’, according to CBC Radio Canada.
From 2006 to 2010, Brownman was the featured soloist with the legendary New York City jazz-hip-hop artist Guru (of Gangstarr fame) for his Jazzmatazz ensemble (replacing Donald Byrd in that group) and catalyzing his appearing on the cover of CODA magazine, Canada’s most acclaimed jazz publication. In December 2009 Brownman launched his own independent record label Browntasauras Records, with Brownman Electryc Trio’s debut recording of Juggernaut as its flagship release, along with re-issues of his entire back-catalog from other groups he leads.
Known for his incredibly hectic schedule and diversity in addition to his playing prowess, Brownman leads a variety of other ensembles besides Brownman Electryc Trio including: Cruzao (Canada’s premiere latin-jazz ensemble, Cruzao Grupo Monstruoso (15-man latin-jazz urban orchestra), Gruvasylum (hip-hop quartet with a jazz ideology), Marron Matizado (12-man salsa band) and the Brownman Akoustic Trio (mainstream jazz a la Miles, Coltrane, Duke & Basie).
He is also called upon frequently to serve as musical director with international touring bands including Chiva (Colombian latin-jazz), Permutacaos (Brazilian-jazz), Hendrik Muerkens (Brazilian-jazz), Strange Attractors (all-star collective of award-winning jazz composers) and Ali Bros (jazz-funk group co-led by Brownman’s brother Marcus Ali). Additionally, Brownman has been mounting several large scale productions in recent years including his much lauded Five Weeks For Miles Tribute Show (now in it’s 7th year) – a month-long extravaganza whereby Brownman, over 5 fridays, leads 5 different bands through 5 different eras of Miles Davis luminous career.
Brownman has evolved from Canadian jazz icon to worldwide phenomenon — evidenced by almost 700,000 visits to Brownman.com— catapulted by 3.5 years of touring the globe as the featured soloist with the legendary rapper Guru and his seminal jazz-hiphop band Jazzmatazz (until the great man’s tragic passing in April 2010). Driven by the desire to push and expand the boundaries of jazz composition and musicianship — and the perceptions people have of what jazz music is and can be — Brownman is a proud torchbearer to the tradition of fearless exploration represented by immortals such as Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, his own mentor Randy Brecker, John Coltrane, and Wayne Shorter.
Brownman also holds a degree in physics and a minor in philosophy, writes the brass column for Canadian Musician Magazine and is an often called upon lecturer and clinician internationally on such topics as ‘Advanced Jazz Harmony’, ‘Hip-hop and the Modern Jazz Improviser’ & ‘Latin Rhythms for the Jazz Improviser’.
Please visit http://www.Brownman.com for more information on this critically acclaimed young artist.
2012 Toronto Independent Music Award winner for ‘Jazz Group of the Year’
2012 Toronto Blues Society ‘Band of the Year’ (Sugar Devils)
2012 Named ‘2012 Artist To Watch’ by Resonancity.ca
2011 Inducted into the WHO’S WHO IN BLACK CANADA directory
2010 Toronto Independent Music Award nominee for ‘Jazz Group of the Year’
2010 Artvoice Magazine’s ‘Jazz Artists of the Year’ nominee
2009 Named ‘favourite touring soloist’ by London, UK’s Jazz After Dark
2008 Toronto Independent Music Award nominee for ‘Jazz Group of the Year’
2008 National Jazz Award nominee for ‘Electric Jazz Group of the Year’
2007 NOW Magazine’s ‘Toronto Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year’
2007 National Jazz Award winner 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 – Independent Music Award nominee
2003 MARRON MATIZADO – ‘Best Toronto Salsa Band’ (SalsaSPOT)
2002 National Jazz Award winner for ‘Jazz Composer of the Year’
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).
‘Canada’s preeminent jazz trumpet player’
– 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
‘Awards are nice, naturally, but to dig what Brownman is doing, you’ve gotta see him live. I had a chance to do just that over the summer… I came away with a blown mind. This guy’s got chops galore, soul to match, and a sense of phrasing that recalls many of the greats, but suggests itself to be his own.’
– Buffalo News
‘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
‘Brownman Ali… a warm, personable soloist displaying an engaging mix of quirks and lyricism.’
– Toronto’s Globe and Mail
‘Brownman… Ali… Marran… 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