“I must have been the last musician in New York City that didn’t know about Chad [Lefkowitz-Brown],” exclaims the veteran bassist Ron McClure. “When I mention his name, everyone seems to know him and how seriously good he is.” The saxophonist Donny McCaslin concurs: “Chad is an exceptionally talented musician. His contribution to the jazz world will be a pleasure to watch in the coming years.”
Chad grew up in Horseheads, NY. After assuring his parents that he would grow up to “play the microphone” as a toddler (“I really loved singing,” he recalls), Chad took up the saxophone at age nine. His father was a music teacher, and exposed the budding musician to improvisatory approaches, as well as the music of Charlie Parker. The combination was enough to grab Chad’s interest; within two years, he was performing locally and already beginning to receive wider recognition. At the end of high school, the saxophonist was invited to join the Brubeck Institute Fellowship Program, where he spent his college years touring internationally with the institute’s quintet.
Soon after graduating, Chad made the move to New York City, and quickly became in-demand as a sideperson; you can hear him on recent recordings from Ron McClure, Clarence Penn, and Arturo O’Farrill. He also serves as the musical director and saxophonist for 2010 America’s Got Talent finalist Alice Tan Ridley. Chad recently finished his own debut recording, Imagery Manifesto, which features the trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, the guitarist Travis Reuter, the pianist Sam Harris, the bassist Linda Oh, and the drummer Kenneth Salters. Manifesto is currently slated for a spring release.