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Mel Brown Big Band & Jon Faddis w/ Jimmy Mak All Stars

Groovin' High: Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie @ 100

February 22, 2017 | 7:30 pm

- $19 – $49
Revolution Hall

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This year’s Portland Jazz Master Mel Brown has been called “The Gentleman of Jazz,” “The Fuller Brush Man,” and “The Godfather of Jazz.” Regardless of nicknames, he is a premier drummer whose career has spanned over five decades. Mel’s career on the road began with organist/singer Earl Grant in 1965. Afterwards, he journeyed to Motown Records where he played drums on hit records by Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, The Supremes, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. He later moved onto jazz, playing with Leroy Vinegar, Teddy Edwards, Richie Cole, Marlena Shaw,  Mary Stallings, Jessica Williams, Gene Harris, “Sweets” Harry Edison, Ray Brown, Joey de Francesco, to name a few. Brown is the dean amongst the drumming community in Portland, currently performing in five bands that have been gigging weekly for the last 10 years. Brown will debut his own big band featuring Portland’s finest musicians in a world premiere, joined by renowned trumpeter Jon Faddis, in a tribute program entitled Groovin’ High: Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie @ 100. Faddis will provide original Gillespie big band arrangements for this For Portland Only performance.


Jon Faddis is a Grammy® Award-nominated jazz trumpet player, conductor, composer, and educator. Upon his first professional appearance on the scene, he became known for his ability to closely mirror the sound of trumpet icon Dizzy Gillespie, who was his mentor along with Stan Kenton trumpeter Bill Catalano. At 18, he joined Lionel Hampton’s big band before joining the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra as lead trumpet. After playing with Charles Mingus in his early twenties, Faddis became a noted studio musician in New York, appearing on many pop recordings in the late 1970s and early 1980s such as “Disco Inferno.” Faddis recorded with jazz luminaries including Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Anthony Braxton, Kenny Burrell, Gil Evans, Les McCann, Brother Jack McDuff, Charles Mingus, Oscar Peterson and Lalo Schifrin, among others. In the mid-1980s, he focused on his solo recording career, resulting in albums such as Legacy, Into The Faddisphere and Hornucopia. Faddis ultimately became the director and first chair soloist of the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band and Dizzy’s United Nation Orchestra. In addition, from 1992 to 2002, Faddis led the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band which recorded for Blue Note Records. 

“…the world’s greatest trumpeter … the greatest trumpeter on the planet for decades … brash soloistic logic and breathtaking technical acuity…– Time Out New York