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Randy Brecker

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Randy Brecker in Concert

Both a force on his own and a member of one of jazz's singular family dynasties, American trumpeter and flugelhornist Randy Brecker brings to the stage a seasoned versatility. He's played with some of jazz and rock's biggest names, including George Benson, Jaco Pastorius, Lou Reed, Yusef Lateef, and Aerosmith. A massively acclaimed composer and performer, Brecker has won six Grammy awards and been nominated for 18.

At the springtime Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, Pennsylvania, Brecker plays numerous sets. That includes a Chuck Loeb Memorial All-Star Jam, a celebration of the music of Weather Report, and two sets as The Jazz Cruise All-Stars with celebrated saxophonist Eric Marienthal. Because of the variety of Brecker's musical interests, his shows are full of vibrant solos and riveting fusion moments; audiences can expect a journey from old-school jazz through new-school originals. 

Randy Brecker Background

Randy Brecker was born in 1945 in the suburbs of Philadelphia; his father was a lawyer and a pianist, and his mother was an artist. Brecker's father would take him and his brother Michael — later to become a saxophonist — to jazz shows by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Duke Ellington. At the age of 8, Randy chose to play the trumpet.

Brecker went on to study at Indiana University, moving to New York City afterward to play with Clark Terry's Big Bad Band. His first major studio break was with Blood, Sweat & Tears, on whose first album he played as a studio musician. Soon after, he played with hard bop legend Horace Silver Quintet, and he also played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers during this period. 

Brecker released his first solo album, Score, in 1968, and teamed up with his brother Michael on a fusion group called Dreams. They then formed the Brecker Brothers band, releasing albums throughout the 1970s and early ‘80s, earning seven Grammy nominations for their early work. 

After a hiatus, the Brecker Brothers got back together in the ‘90s and ‘00s to release lauded albums Return of the Brecker Brothers and Out of the Loop. Brecker also recorded more Grammy-winning albums, including 1997's hugely popular Into the Sun. 

In 2013, Randy Brecker took home the award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Night in Calisia. Thanks to his diversity as an artist, he's been influential to a younger generation of musicians looking to break through barriers into newer and more fusion-oriented sounds.