Contemporary jazz pianist, Dr. Kathy Brown, took her musical journey further up the road when she officially unveiled her debut CD album, Mission: A Musical Journey, recently in Kingston, Jamaica.
Her experience, which dawned at age five in Mandeville, reached a milepost at the Villa Ronai venue, essentially marking the beginning of another stage of her eventful sojourn in the world of jazz.
“I’ll promote this album,” she told reporters, “get some shows at the festivals overseas and do another album when I recover from the bankruptcy of the first.”
The unsigned album captures many of the influences on her personal journey from the classical and folk music she heard at home in the early days through to the African and Latin music she bought and studied.
Ever since Kathy Brown walked into the Phillip Sherlock Centre for Creative Arts on the University of the West Indies (UWI) campus and heard jazz for the first time, and since Jill Gibson, master piano tutor at the Jamaica School of Music, imparted to her the preliminaries of jazz piano, she has honed her jazz awareness “listening intently” to Bob James, Joe Sample, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock’s earlier works, Chucho Valdes, Monty Alexander, Kenny Barron, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Michel Camilo, to name a few influences.
Today, Kathy Brown enjoys the limelight as an outstanding Jamaican pianist, jazz instrumentalist, bandleader and composer — concurrently as a practicing medical doctor. She is a coherent performer on the Jamaica jazz circuit where her pleasing jazz arrangements and delightful piano riffs have earned her many accolades.
American Christopher Porter, writing in the reputable Jazz Times, described the pianist’s 20-minute performance at the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival as “ a really fun but too-short set…” Two years later, on a night headlined by American contemporary jazz vibist Roy Ayers, a Gleaner writer noted, “Although not attracting top billing, it was the charismatic and musically charged Dr. Kathy Brown who stole the spotlight at the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival at the Half Moon Shopping Centre in Montego Bay”.
Brown has played the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Port Royal Music Festival, and a repeat at the Jamaica Pegasus’ Jazz in the Gardens, Jazz on the Green series, Red Bones Blues Café, Christopher’s Jazz Café. Last year Brown, however, made her overseas debut at the Island Soul Festival, and in February had a performance in Paramaribo, Suriname.
She credits fellow pianist Dr. Conroy Cooper for the inspiration to become a professional musician and to start her own band. It was a mission accomplished in March 2002 with the founding of the Kathy Brown & Friends band.
Highly visible on the world-ranking All About Jazz website, Brown categorizes her style of music as World Beat; music that people anywhere can appreciate. She emphasizes, “My music is definitively a crossover between jazz and indigenous forms of music whether it is reggae, Latin and afro-Brazilian styles”
From the outset, the multi-genre pianist envisioned doing live performances beyond her island shores. “I am more about live performing, and for this reason I want to take my music outside of Jamaica to places like New York, Canada, Europe, Japan and Africa.”
Now it is Kathy Brown’s fervent wish that the continuing leg of the musical journey will take her onstage at venues in numerous cities around the globe.
Check out Claude Wilson at: http://jam-offbeat.blogspot.com