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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Ben Wolf

In a recent video interview with Alternate Takes, the “powerfully propulsive” (The New York Times) drummer Justin Brown proclaimed:  “Get ready…Justin Brown has some things in store, musically, for you.”

From getting his start on the drums in church at age two to touring the world in his twenties, Justin has become one of the most in-demand voices on his instrument. His sound has been sought after for performances and recordings by the likes of Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, Stefon Harris, Esperanza Spaulding, Bilal, Ledisi, Thundercat, and countless others. Justin has also made invaluable contributions to the groups of Gerald Clayton and Ambrose Akinmusire, two of his peers who are shaping the current direction of the music.

We’ve been featuring Justin’s own bands at The Gallery with some degree of regularity since he first performed here as a leader almost two years ago. The drummer has also appeared here as a sideman on innumerable occasions over the past several years. Here’s an excerpt from an interview we conducted with Justin before his last JG performance:

Because of these times and all of this stuff going on, people are looking for an outlet and [are ready] to relate to [a broad musical perspective], instead of putting a stamp on it. With this generation and our laptops, we truly have that power. I’m just trying to be honest about that and trying not to be shy about it.

Basically, this music is all about love, really. It’s ultimately about inspiring one that they can be themselves. We each have a purpose, and I just want people to realize that purpose within themselves, and be uplifted through my experiences with the music. (Read more here).

This Friday evening, Justin returns to our stage to present an evening of standards with two more of his trailblazing employers, the saxophonist Greg Osby and the pianist Vijay Iyer, along with the bassist and long-time rhythm section partner, Harish Raghavan. If you were waiting to hear what Justin has in store for you, you should absolutely start here; reserve your tickets today.

Watch a video of Justin and some co-conspirators – the guitarist Matthew Stevens, the pianist Fabian Almazan, and the bassist Linda Oh – performing an original composition live at The Gallery earlier this year.