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Pianist Larry Brown leads one of the most accomplished straight-ahead jazz groups in the Mid-Atlantic area, having performed at An Die Musik, Blues Alley, the Meyerhoff, the Kennedy Center, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, East Coast Jazz Festival, Baltimore-Washington Jazz Fest, Alexandria Jazz Festival, Twins Jazz, Bohemian Caverns, the King Of France Tavern, Montpelier Arts Center, Chris’ CafÃ©, the New Haven Lounge, Caton Castle, the Wine Cellar, Strathmore Mansion, and the Black Rock Center for the Arts.
JazzReview.com describes The Larry Brown Quintet as “Straight-ahead jazz at its best, with a forthright approach to well chosen material, supported by first rate soloists and a rock-solid rhythm section.” The group’s four CDs receive airplay all over the country, as well as in Brazil, Canada, Russia, and Japan. The band, which reprises the hard-bop style of the legendary Blue Note era, was recognized by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) as the Best Jazz Group for 2009. The group’s celebrated release, “Hard Bop CafÃ©” was recognized by WAMA as the Best Jazz Recording for 2006 with a Wammie award.
As an undergraduate at Towson University, Larry studied with Stan Kenton’s favorite arranger/composer, Hank Levy. He performed with and composed for the lauded Towson University Jazz Ensemble. With a Bachelors Degree in Music Theory Larry attended graduate school at Catholic University, where he received his Master of Music degree after studying Composition and Electronic Music with the legendary Emerson Myers.
Recognized with Wammie Awards for Best Jazz Group for 2006, 2008, and again for 2009, Larry also received a Wammie for Best Jazz Recording in 2002 for his CD “The Long Goodbye”, recorded at National Public Radio, npr. Larry has appeared on the national jazz cable channel BET On Jazz show “Jazz Discovery” where he won in the instrumentalist category, and has appeared on their show “Jazz Scene” as a featured artist. Larry has also received several Wammie nominations for Best Jazz Instrumentalist, and Best Jazz Recording (“Peace”, “Dryden Street Sessions”).
Trumpet player Kyle Funn was born and raised in Baltimore, MD where he attributes his first love of music to his father, trombonist and educator Charles Funn. Through his father, he had the means and resources to grow listening to such artists as Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane; as well as having the opportunity to hear live jazz very early in life.
Kyle began playing professionally at the age of fourteen with the Ed Williams Big Band, Whit Williams Big Band, and Baltimore’s Big Band. Upon graduating from high school, he matriculated to Howard University to study under Fred Irby, III. The Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE) had given him the opportunity to tour in Japan and the US Virgin Islands, as well as playing a tribute to Betty Carter in the Kennedy Center Honors Special. In 1998, Kyle graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a degree in music with an emphasis in business.
Since then Kyle has played with such artists as Michael Feinstein, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, and Terrence Blanchard. Kyle also spends time giving music instruction in area schools.
Born October 17, 1956 in St. Louis Missouri, Kent’s parents appreciation for listening to all kinds of music was his first introduction to music. Around age eight Kent took piano lessons for a few years. However, he soon developed an interest in the guitar and soon began studying guitar. Around age twelve, Kent watched a televised program that featured Ray Brown as a soloist fronting a big band. This began a life long passion to learn the art playing the contrabass.
Kent attended Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. on a basketball scholarship, and graduated in 1979 with a Bachlor of Science degree in Business Administration. He also attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music and study music perfomance. Returning to St. Louis, Kent enrolled in the St. Louis Conservatory of Music for continued music studies. He began private bass studies with Warren Claunch of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He was soon befriend by St Louis jazz historian Richard R. Henderson.
Kent became a private student of Wendell Marshall (former Duke Ellington bassist), later to become very good friends. Enrollment into the legendary George Hudson Big Band soon followed. Kent began working locally with fellow St. Louis musicians; Willie Akins, Eric Person, Charlie Fox, Freddie Washington, Greg Osby, Al St. James and many others.
In 1984 Kent moved to New York and was recruited by legendary Vanguard recording artist trumpeter Dave Burns. Kent continued his bass studies with bassist Rufus Ried and Ray Drummond. Kent joined the Brooklyn based Ray Abrams big band that led to many other music opportunities with such artist as: Carl Allen, Chico Hamilton, Percy Brice, Jimmy Lovelace, Clifford Barbareau, Lynn Arriale, Eddie Gladden, George Coleman Jr., (St. Louisians’ John Hicks, Eric Person, Ronnie Burrage), Bill Saxton, Talieb Kibwe, James Wiedman and many others.
In 1995 Kent relocated to the Washington DC area, where he resides today, playing with many local and national artists.
Greg C. Holloway is a native of Washington, D.C. where he received an undergraduate degree in Music Education and Percussion Performance from Howard University (1980). He also participated in the Jazz Studies summer program at Eastman School of Music. Greg later pursued Masters in Education with an emphasis in Jazz Drumming/Percussion Methodology and Masters in Science (Counseling Psychology) from University of LaVerne in Southern California.
Greg has returned to the Metropolitan area after completing a career in various prestigious Air Force Field Bands. While in the Air Force, Greg advanced to percussion section leader, Musical Director and leader of Jazz Ensembles, Rock Bands and various trios. These groups have backed major performers tha appeared on national television and radio shows. Before transitioning to the civilian sector, Greg was instrumental in developing the percussion-training standard for Air Force Field Band Percussion and produced the CD “Midnight Sun” which features Ellington alumnus Freda Payne.
As a civilian, Greg has performed with Freda Payne, Carl Fontana, Rob McConnell, Chuck Israel, Jim Pugh, Gene Bertincinni, Maguire Sisters, Blackstone the Magician, Sheri Lewis, Bruce Conti, Rich Little. He has also played various shows in Palm Springs and served as Tympanist with the Anchorage Symphony 1995 season. His latest recording is “Full Circle” on G-Bop label. His professional endorsements include REMO drumheads, Istanbul Mehmets, and Vic Firth drumsticks and mallets.
Greg is currently performing at various venues in the Metro area and is Director of Percussion at Flint High School. Greg also runs the “Pyramid Percussion Studio” for performance instruction.
Returning to the DC area in 1989, Peter founded the jazz/rock group Stickman, which released its eponymous CD in 1995. Stickman enjoyed a large local following and was featured on the main stage at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Jazz Festival in 1997. In 1996 he formed the Peter Fraize Quintet, releasing the live recording You St. that same year on Union Records, an independent label he co-founded. You St. received critical acclaim in publications such as Jazz Times, Cadence, and the Washington Post. He followed up with Third Attention (1998), which showcased his working trio with whom he hosted weekly jam sessions at area nightclubs from 1994 to 2002. In 1999 he was awarded a Washington Area Music Award (Wammie) for best contemporary jazz group. Peter has twice collaborated with Italian avant-garde trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini, documented on the CD releases Deconstruction (2000, Pentaflowers) and Post-Deconstruction (2002, Cadence Jazz Records). In the summer of 2008 he was invited to Lima, Peru to perform a series of concerts at the Jazz Zone and Satchmo clubs with some of that country’s finest musicians. The results can be heard on the forthcoming Live In Lima (2009, Union Records). His current CD release is Organic Matter (2009, Union), a collection of eight of his original compositions featuring jazz organ master Greg Hatza. Over the years he has appeared in virtually all of the DC area’s notable music venues including the One Step Down, Blues Alley, Twins, the Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, the Birchmere, and the 9:30 Club.
In addition to his varied performing and recording projects, Peter has been on faculty at the George Washington University since 1994, where he teaches saxophone, Jazz Performance Techniques and Jazz Theory. He also directs the Advanced Jazz Combo and co-leads the GWU Latin Band. Since 1998 he has served as Director of Jazz Studies.
Peter lives in Washington, DC with his wife Jessica and their two sons Leo and Owen.