Jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for over five decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament-Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa.
Born in 1945 in Philadelphia to a musical family, Randy's musical talent was nurtured from an early age. He attended Indiana University from 1963-66, studying with Bill Adam, David Baker and Jerry Coker and later moved to New York, where he landed gigs with such prominent bands as Clark Terry's Big Bad Band, the Duke Pearson Big Band and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra.
In 1967, Randy ventured into jazz-rock with the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, but left to join the Horace Silver Quintet. He recorded his first solo album, Score, in 1968, featuring a young, unknown 19-year-old tenor saxophonist named Michael Brecker. After Horace Silver, Randy joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers before teaming up with his brother Michael, Barry Rogers, Billy Cobham and John Abercrombie to form the seminal fusion group Dreams. The group recorded two adventurous and wildly acclaimed albums entitled Dreams and Imagine My Surprise for Columbia Records before they disbanded in 1971.
By 1975, Randy and Michael were ready to front their own group, the Brecker Brothers. A band of immeasurable impact and influence, they released six albums on Arista Records and garnered seven Grammy nominations between 1975 and 1981. Their eponymous first record (which Randy wrote, arranged and produced) featured his now classic composition "Some Skunk Funk." In 1992, exactly ten years after they parted ways to pursue solo careers, Randy and Michael reunited for a world tour and the triple Grammy-nominated GRP Records recording Return of the Brecker Brothers. The follow-up, 1994's Out of the Loop, was a double Grammy Award winner.
In 1997, Into the Sun (Concord), a recording featuring Randy's impressions of Brazil, garnered Randy his first Grammy Award as a solo artist. Randy's CD for ESC Records, 34th n' Lex, won him his third Grammy Award (Best Contemporary Jazz Album) in 2003. The summer of 2003 culminated in a special headline appearance in Japan at the Mount Fuji Jazz Festival for the reunited Brecker Brothers. In 2007, Randy was awarded his fourth Grammy Award for Randy Brecker Live with the WDR Big Band (Telarc/BHM), a live recording of his performance with Michael at the Leverkusen Jazz Festival in 2004.
Randy returned to his long-time love of Brazilian music in 2008 for the album Randy in Brasil, which was recorded in São Paulo with a full complement of great Brazilian musicians and released on Summit Records. Chosen as one of the Top 10 CDs of 2008 by AllAboutJazz.com, the CD won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, bringing Randy's Grammy total to five. 2011 saw the release of The Jazz Ballad Song Book: Randy Brecker with the Danish Radio Big Band and The Danish National Chamber Orchestra, which garnered four Grammy nominations and enjoyed enthusiastic critical acclaim. In 2013, a collaboration with the Wlodek Pawlik Trio and the Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra playing Wlodek's "Night in Calisia" with Randy as featured soloist netted Randy his sixth Grammy Award.
As a composer, performer and in demand Yamaha Performing Artist, Randy continues to influence and inspire young musicians around the world.
This LHJF Artist Workshop is brought to you by Yamaha.