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The John Brown 'Little' Big Band to play at  Marlboro Civic Center

Published on Friday, April 13, 2018

The John Brown 'Little' Big Band to play at Marlboro Civic Center

The John Brown "Little" Big Band will bring some "big" sound to the Marlboro Civic Center on Tuesday.
The 11-piece band will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Box office hours are 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The band is led by stand-up bassist and Fayetteville native John Brown, who is also a composer, educator and actor.
"We want to move people," said Brown, director of the jazz program and associate professor of the practice of music at Duke University. "The goal is to let people into our world and how we love and enjoy music."
Music has always been a part of Brown's life.
His mother plays the piano and her mother along with some of her sisters sang in his church choir. This was where he was first exposed to music. He also listened to the records that his parents had.
"This is where my interest in and love of music began," Brown said.
He started playing the piano when he was five but didn't like it and quit. At nine, he started playing the bass.
"And the rest is history," he said.
Brown focused on playing bass but admitted to toying around with playing other instruments but those are the only ones he claims.
"I leave the other ones to the professionals," he said.
Brown is a graduate of the School of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He has performed in the United States and in other countries with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Nnenna Freelon, Diahann Carroll, Rosemary Clooney, Nell Carter, Lou Donaldson and Slide Hampton.
Brown also has a Grammy nomination for his performance and co-writing on Nnenna Freelon's 1996 Concord release, Shaking Free.
For his performances, he has seven different bands.
"I like to have something that is ready to go for any situation," Brown said.
The bands range in group size from three to 22.
He is bringing two bands to Bennettsville. One for the schools and one for the community performance.
Brown said he is a big proponent of music in schools.
"I did begin my study of music as a student of public schools in Fayetteville," he said. "Even though I was exposed to it with my parents, I just started playing in the public schools.  I absolutely support any effort to put music in schools."
Earlier on Tuesday, band students from the School of Discovery and Marlboro County High School will come to the Civic Center to have workshops with the band.
For performances, Brown said he has a body of material that he likes to pull from and has very loose plans for it.
"This is always expanding," Brown said.  "I usually like to perform things that are inspired in the moment. The element of improvisation allows us to respond spontaneously and react spontaneously to a feeling, thought or emotion."
He encouraged people to attend the concert.
"We are coming to bring a sense of joy and love for music that we hope they want to experience," he said.
Brown noted it was very telling about the community when an art center is in place with people managing it and the community is supporting it.
"So in addition to our performance,  I would encourage them to support everything they're trying to do to bring music to the community," he said. "Music is indeed the universal language and it is a great equalizer when it comes to how we relate to each other. I would encourage people to come out and support the arts in whatever  way they can."
This project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This program is funded in part by a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
For tickets, call the Marlboro Civic Center at 843-454-9496.
For more information and videos on the John Brown Little Big Band, visit www.jbjazz.com.

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Author: Dan McNiel

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