Arts & Leisure section of the Cosair Magazine at SMC
Writer: Irene Manahan
Brandino Quartet Ready to Rock the Concert Hall This Friday
From Justin Timberlake to James Brown, from Mary J. Blige to Gladys Knight and from Snoop Doggy Dog to Ray Charles, two-time Grammy-winning Bassist and two-time Emmy-winning Composer, Kevin Brandon has recorded and performed with the best of them.
Since his remarkable success at the 2004 Grammy Awards for OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below album, Brandon has been busier than ever working on his newest record "Brandon Live" and recording with artists like Stevie Wonder and Beyonce with whom he is set to win his next Grammy with.
This Friday, SMC will be lucky enough to have Brandon, better known as Brandino, bring his quartet to blow the roof off our Concert Hall.
"I’m really looking forward to performing," Brandino tells the Corsair. "I hope the students get a history lesson and a background of classic, traditional jazz through our show."
Brandino inspires students with his music and with his story. He has surely climbed the ladder of success rung by rung.
The streets of Compton, or "the hood" as Brandino refers to it, didn’t offer much to the young musical genius suffering from congenital clubfoot and hip displacement.
But he didn’t let that stop him.
He played in his family band growing up--the piano at age 4, saxophone at 7, bass guitar at 9 and flute at 13. Since then, he knew he wanted to pursue a life dedicated to music.
From jazz, classical, hip-hop, and pop, Brandino loves it all: "I grew up listening to a wide spectrum of all different types of music," he remarks.
"It’s amazing to see how jazz evolved over the years. I’ve listened to the full circle." He adds, "I’ve seen, especially with hip-hop, the different movements and stages. To me, hip-hop is swing and jazz with a backbeat."
After high school, Brandino turned down a full scholarship to USC and graced the Cerritos and Long Beach College campuses (known for having excellent jazz programs) with his presence. Little did he know that he would soon after move to NYC to play with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and have a long-running (over 22 years) partnership with Aretha Franklin.
The rest is history. Brandino now boasts an impressive clientele with legendary and contemporary music gurus like Luther Vandross, Patti La Belle, Jamiroquai, Vanessa Williams, Chaka Khan, Barry White, Dionne Warwick, the Beach Boys, the Emotions, the Temptations the list goes on.
He also developed the non-profit organization: You Can Do It If You Try. The foundation hopes to encourage the physically and mentally challenged of inner cities and serve to spiritually motivate people of all ages through music, learning, art, speech and example.
The Music Department is very excited to present Brandino’s quartet on September 8th in the Concert Hall. Listen as they perform acoustic selections from "Brandino Live."
Tickets are on sale now for $10 at the SMC box office. Arrive early as seating strictly on a first-come basis.
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