“Music is not just my vocation, it is my passion and it is my calling. No matter how intimate or large the settings, I always play with the same energy,” says jazz saxophonist extraordinaire, Brian Lenair. Having performed with the likes of Will Downing, Maysa, Jean Carne, Billy Paul, Angela Bolfill, Christopher Williams, Miki Howard, Glenn Jones, , Al Jarreau, Vesta, TonyTerry, , the late Phyllis Hyman, Pieces of a Dream, Miles Jay, Grover Washington, Jr., Peabo Bryson, and George Benson, Spur of the Moment and others, Brian has established himself to be a talent to be recognized.
Lenair’s love for music began at the age of eight in his home in the Washington DC area where he grew up. His most profound influence came from his dad, who also plays the saxophone. His first music instructor in junior high school, Bruce Tyler, also encouraged his love for music. Brian credits the works of jazz greats Grover Washington, Jr. and Stanley Turrentine for inspiring him to play as well.
Although Brian began his studies at the University of Maryland as an architect/interior designer, his love for music could not be contained. It wasn’t long before Brian formed his first band called 41/2 Hours. He remained with the group for four years as they established a name in the DC area.
Brian eventually left and in 1990 joined a new group called Spur of the Moment. As the front man for the Washington DC based band, they astounded audiences with their mixture of jazz and R&B sounds for over 15 years. During that time, Spur of the Moment recorded two CDs entitled Spuraddict and Out of the Shadows, which greatly features Brian’s talent as a saxophonist and composer.
Despite the success of the group, Brian felt the need to move forward to pursue a solo career. In 2004, Brian cut his first CD entitled The Journey. Creating this CD gave Brian the opportunity to express his God given gift as well as showcase his talent as an incredible saxophonist, producer and songwriter. “I was fortunate enough to have a great deal of creative input on my first solo album,” say Lenair. “I wrote 9 tracks which allowed me to put my inner thoughts and feelings to music,” he says.
The first single, “Gone Ridin’” is a mixture of soft melodies and up-tempo grooves. “I am an avid bicyclist and this song came to me while I was riding one day. Cycling helps to clear my mind and get my creative juices flowing and that’s what I wanted to bring across in this song.” The title track “The Journey”, Brian’s personal favorite, expresses the experience he and his family had during his sister’s victorious battle over cancer. He also recorded another one of his all time favorites “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You Are Near)” originally recorded Michael McDonald.
In April 2006, Brian recorded his latest CD entitled Inspirations Volume 1, another long awaited dream of his paying homage to the Creator for his most incredible talent. This jazzy compilation encompasses the total music experience from A to Z. It features traditional gospel songs such as “Near the Cross” and “Amazing Grace” as well as popular gospel songs like “Total Praise”, “Stand” and “Center of My Joy”. Playing by ear as well as from his heart, Brian’s soulful notes are a force to be reckoned with.
“I absolutely love sharing my gift with others and touching them with my music.” Audiences couldn’t agree more
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Chip Shelton & Peacetime
May16-17, 2008, Fri/Sat, 9 & 11pm
Twins Jazz Restaurant
1344 U St. NW
Washington, DC, Tel 202/ 234-0072
Chip Shelton- Flute, Sax, Vocal, Perc.
Lou Volpe- Guitar
Marcus McLaurine- Bass
Jon Davis- Organ, Piano
Sylvia Cuenca- Drums
2007 Winner of a Soul-PatrolAward for #7Best Jazz Release, and celebrating his 8th CD, “Imbued With Memories”, Chip Shelton’s Soulful Band, Peacetime, returns to Washington, DC.
Chip Shelton info: www.chipshelton.com
CD Release info: www. Summitrecords.com
Electronic Press Kit: www.sonicbids.com/chipshelton
Twinsjazz info: www.twinsjazz.com
PR: RL Grant Group, Inc.
More Info: www.soul-patrol.com/
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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