RIP Christian Brewer

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of dynamic alto saxophonist and educator/organiser, and friend to this site, Christian Brewer, after a long illness. This post will be added as more tributes emerge. 

Christian Brewer. Lower Ground Bar, West Hampstead. 2013. Photo by Melody McLaren

Alex Garnett has posted this on Facebook today 27 February 2021: It is with heavy heart to say I have been informed by Christian’s family that he departed our mortal world in the early hours of this morning. God bless you my friend.Thanks for the memories and the music. May your soul’s transition into pure sound be a swinging one. Brian Blain in 2017, reviewing gigs with Jim Mullen for this site, called him the “creator of  so many North London scenes and an alto/soprano player of driving enthusiasm,power and creativity.” Jamie O’Donnell has written: “He was a wonderful alto player and always generous. Christian set up so many great gigs which he would hand out to friends’ bands and he was always letting players sit in on his own gig.” LINK: Biography on the Japanese Aizen site

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17 replies »

  1. I am gutted to hear this. Though I haven’t seen him for some time, he was always a source of joy, as a human and as a wonderfully exuberant musician. Rest in peace.

  2. Our friends Deb and Laurie Grey introduced us to Christian at a gig in a tiny cafe in Wales years ago. My hubby Ian became an instant fan and we loved going to his gigs at venues all over London for many years afterwards. Ian booked Christian’s quintet to play at his 60th birthday in 2004, so we became acquainted with band members Leon Greening, Jim Hart, Phil Donkin and Tristan Mailliot and started going to their gigs as well. These serendipitous musical connections taught us that jazz is a wonderful, interconnected family and Christian was an important part of its beating heart.

    • This news comes as a huge shock, an enormous sadness and loss. Christian was such a lovely guy, such a wonderful, passionate player, such a great composer. He will forever be remembered and loved by all who heard him at the Verdict. Sincere condolences to his family, and to all who, like us, will sorely miss him. Andy Lavender, Brighton

  3. I’m so sad that we’ve lost Christian.
    He was a lovely guy, a great musician and did so much for the scene, especially in north london.
    He was generous and encouraging and forever inquisitive about music and other subjects of importance.
    I’m gutted for you Christian, taken from us far too early.
    A sad day today in London…
    We’ll remember you always.

    RIP Christian Brewer.

    Brandon Allen

  4. I’m very sorry to hear yesterday that a good friend and great musician Christain Brewer has past on.I can’t imagine the London scene without him.He was always hard working and serious yet at the same time open and fun.
    My condolences to his family.

    You’ve gone too early Christian


    Clive York

  5. Goodness, what a tragedy. Chris a real jazz player, a lovely, sensitive man, totally absorbed by jazz and generous to a fault in encouraging musicians/me and supporting the music. We were only chatting recently and Chris had sent some tracks to me for a quote as he was considering releasing an album of older material. I am so very sorry. What a terrible loss.

  6. Absolutely stunned and saddened. Far too young. One of the best British alto players with an instantly recognisable sound and unique style as well as a superb composer with some world-class compositions and albums to his name. One of last gigs I went to before the lockdown was his band playing a great mix of old and new material and he was kind enough to chat about his plans and outstanding previous work. Will be much missed on the UK Jazz scene.

  7. I met Christian in the summer of 1991, we hit it off right away as musical friends who were travelling in the same direction. He was so kind with a gentle soul, we’d always get together and practice weekly, we would speak at length on sound and making every note count and not wasting it, and then talk about our children, we both had one each at the time, he was a very devoted father too. Funny thing is whenever I saw him a few years later he was always looking and searching for his perfect mouthpiece that would give him his perfect sound when all along when you listen to him now on audio he already had it. I spent a whole day with him one hot summer at The Premises going through a box of 20 mouthpiece,do you know how long it takes to go through 20? Hahahahaha in the end I left with 20, you got to love him for that. I got to spend a whole day listen to him burn on his horn, that’s priceless. He came with a great sound and left with a great sound, that’s how i will always remember him. We last spoke on the 2nd of February 2021 for about an hour and talked about getting together and practice like the old days when he’s better, he even left me a voice message which I’ll keep forever, I’m gonna sure miss him, R.I.P. dear friend 🙏🏿

  8. I didn’t know him but I remember he left me stunned after one of his gigs at the Crypt….RIP mate.

  9. This has come as a massive shock to Pat and me. Chris played at Chesterfield Jazz club a couple of times and both times we enjoyed his wonderful tone and mellifluous playing. He was a joy to work with, and an artist as well as a fine art fan. He was thrilled to be given tickets to John Sprakes’ private view in London as I know how much he appreciated fine art as well as producing it himself. We send our condolences to Christians family at this very sad time.

  10. Christian and I were working together for six months up to the lockdown in March 2020, teaching a class of primary school kids in Tottenham how to play trumpets and clarinets (this through Haringey Music Service). We’d long been aware of each other’s music, but this was the first time we’d worked together – and we quickly found a rapport, being both on a mission to teach a broadly Jazz based scheme even with beginners.

    His gentle quietly spoken way and dedication to the music clearly made an impression on the kids. He’d teach his group lessons in a kind of huddle, rather than sitting them in rows – harder work for him! – but they’d crowd round and pester him with questions. And in ensemble sessions he’d give heartfelt advice on making a good solo and show them how… Then six months later when schools resumed in Sept, he was taking time off due to illness, but the kids were still asking “where’s Christian?”… Oh man, I am so sorry. Sending our condolences to his family and all who were close to him.

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