Brian Blade Fellowship


Biography Brian Blade Fellowship


Brian Blade
was born on July 25, 1970 in Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother, Dorothy Blade is a retired kindergarten teacher and his father, Brady L. Blade, Sr. is the pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport. During his childhood, Brian would hear Gospel music in his everyday life, as well as the music of Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, and the Staple Singers. In elementary school, his music appreciation teacher, Lucy Bond, introduced her students to the music of Maurice Ravel and in this class, Brian would play the recorder and various melodic percussion instruments associated with the Carl Orff pedagogy.

The multi-talented young veteran is already widely respected in the jazz world as drummer/composer/leader of Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, with whom he has released three albums. He is also known as the drummer for many heroes of the music world, including Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Wayne Shorter, Seal, Bill Frisell and Emmylou Harris. Blade is always searching for the balance that gives a song a personal story with an outward reaching resonance. One such song of memories is entitled, "Second Home," a tribute to his teacher, John Vidacovich, and the city of New Orleans where Brian met Fellowship band mates Jon Cowherd and Chris Thomas. He lived in the crescent city for seven years while studying with musical masters Ellis Marsalis, David Lee, Jr. Bill Huntington, Mike Pellera, George French, Germaine Bazzle, Steve Masakowski and John Mahoney. Mama Rosa marks a new endeavor for Blade: a lovingly crafted, emotionally affecting song cycle that's deeply rooted in a rich vein of personal experience. "All That Was Yesterday", "You'll Always Be My Baby" and "Nature's Law" show Blade to be a soulful and expressive vocalist and a songwriter capable of rendering evocative stories that resonate with insight and empathy. "Revealing more of ourselves is always daunting," says Blade, "but I feel like I need to keep challenging myself and peeling away layers to get to the core of who I am and what I have to offer."

From about age nine to age thirteen, Brian played violin in the school orchestra and continued to play until following in the footsteps of his older brother, Brady l. Blade, Jr. who played the drums in the Zion church.

During high school, both Brady, Jr. and Brian were students of Dorsey Summerfield, Jr. and performed as part of Dorsey’s professional group, the Polyphonics. During this time and through his experience with Mr. Summerfield, Brian began listening to the music of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Elvin Jones, and Joni Mitchell.

In 1988, Brian moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University. It was at this time that Brian would become friends with Jon Cowherd. Both Brian and Jon were able to study and play with most of the master musicians living in New Orleans, including: John Vidacovich, Ellis Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, Bill Huntington, Mike Pellera, John Mahoney, George French, Germaine Bazzle, David Lee, Jr., Alvin Red Tyler, Tony Dagradi and Harold Battiste.

There were many inspiring musicians living and visiting New Orleans who helped Brian in his development. Some of these friends are Chris Thomas, Peter Martin, Nicholas Payton, Antoine Drye, Martin Butler, Delfeayo Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Harry Connick, Jr., Gray Mayfield, Marcus Roberts, Victor Goines and Daniel Lanois.

In 1998, Brian and Jon Cowherd began recording their own music with the group Fellowship. The band members are Chris Thomas, Myron Walden, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Melvin Butler. They have released 3 albums together – Fellowship and Perceptual, both on Blue Note, and the 2008 Verve recording, Season of Changes.

Since 2000, Brian has been part of the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Danilo Perez and John Patitucci.

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