INTERVIEW: Damon Brown (Korean Trio Tour dates November 19-28)

L-R: Kang Woong , Damon Brown , Park Jinkyo

Trumpeter DAMON BROWN is currently back in the UK and is about to embark on a tour with his Korean Trio, with a London date at Lauderdale House. Brian Blain asked the questions: 

LondonJazz News: Apart from your Korean adventure (which we’ll come to in a moment) you seem to be well travelled,living in Barcelona and Paris for some time? When was that?

Damon Brown: I lived in Barcelona briefly around 15 years ago and after Paris for some years ..both for kind of girlfriend reasons initially but I became very involved in the the jazz scenes in both cities.. And my association with the Jazz scenes in both places outlived the relationships sadly .

LJN: Do you still have any connection with the scenes there ?

DB: Absolutely . I just made a ten date tour in Korea to promote my new Quintet cd released There by the “We Play Jazz “label and it featured a great Korean band and French altoist Pierrick Pedron .. So the friendships , musical and otherwise play out slowly when its possible . In that case it was possible because Pierrick was sponsored by Selmer saxophones etc

LJN: After Paris any Festivals, tours abroad? You seem to have played with quite a few heavy duty peopleas well. Who were some of them?

DB: Yes Ive been fortunate to tour a lot and slowly found some very productive and resipricol musical relationships . Through these tours and relationships I met many great musicians and that’s helped develop my playing . I worked a lot with Steve Grossman , to lesser degrees Benny Golson and Dave Liebman and I was super happy to have spent time playing and hanging with the recently departed Doug Rainey .

I’d probably have met none of them without working with similar musicians to myself in the uk and Europe just trying to get tours going etc that’s how it works .

LJN: You have worked with one of Elvin Jones’s piano players, a Japanese musician, Yutaka Shina. How did that happen, and is that what led you to Seoul?

DB: For a few years I was visiting japan regularly with Yutaka and brought him to the uk many times .some my best musical memories are of those days . Yutaka always had wonderful people in his band. The last tour we made was with Tim Armacost on tenor and Gene Jackson on drums . That’s what led me to Korea in fact. Tim was kept saying . “You’ve got to check Seoul out ” .

LJN: You must be quite settled ;what is your work pattern like?

DB: My work pattern is a bit intermittent this year as I’m doing a Masters in Education and Performance at Trinity Laban and that’s using up all my available brain cells . But I’m still doing some runs of gigs when possible .

LJN: Tell me about the upcoming tour .Sounds a bit different to the post bop bag we associate with you;what made you look in another direction?

DB: Yes I’m doing a tour this month with Trio with two wonderful Korean musicians . Kang Woong on guitar and Park JinKyo on double bass . It coincides with the release of our cd Walking On by 33 Records .Thanks Paul Jolly !!

Yes it’s not hard bop .. but its doesn’t feel like a big step . The originals are a mix of straight ahead and bossa and the title track is a little funky . But it’s all Jazz.

Damon Brown

Anything else to expect in the coming year ?

DB: Yes three things:

– In February I’m touring in the UK with another band from Korea with my friend Paul Kirby on piano . He’s amazing .

– Also I’m recording two personally very important projects this year . One is the 3rd CD with “Killer Shrimp ” which I co lead with Ed Jones . We got a new rhythm section in Adam King on bass and Chris Draper on drums . They are killing !

-The other is a CD co led with Christian Brewer and Leon Greening, two great players and old friends . We’ve been playing so long together !! so this is really exiting to finally put something out there.


November 19 Teignmouth jazz festival
20 Bristol . Hen and Chickens
21 Cheltenham . The Daffodill
22 East London Jazz Club / Clive Fenners place
23 Barnstaple . Broomhill Sculpture Hotel
24 London . Lauderdale House
26 Luton . The Bear
27 Manchester . The Cinnamon Club
28 Bexley Jazz Club

Brian Blain is involved with the programming at Lauderdale House

LINK : Damon Brown website

Categories: miscellaneous

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