Band Together with Mark G. Meadows and Braxton Cook
Band Together is a recent project Mark's been working on that features collaborations between Mark and some of his favorite rising artists. Join Mark G. Meadows, awarded best album and composer of 2016 as well as artist of the year in 2014 by Washington City Paper, as he bands together with world renowned artist, Braxton Cook.
Mark G. Meadows
“Best Composer” and “Recording of the Year” —Washington City Paper, 2016
“2nd Best DC Jazz Album of 2016” —CapitalBop, 2016
“Tight and poised hitting the keys of Jelly Roll Morton’s intricate compositions and singing Susan Birckenhead’s pointed lyrics, Meadows is pure jazz nirvana.” – DC Theater Scene, 2016
Meadows “fuses the tradition of jazz with the sounds of today in a very musical and entertaining way that is certainly worth the listen” —JazzTimes, 2015
“Artist of the Year” and “Composer of the Year”—Washington City Paper, 2014
Meadows’s writing is “outstanding and his compositions fresh”—All About Jazz, 2014
Meadows “has a level of creativity that will define him amongst others in his generation”—Cyrus Chestnut, jazz pianist
Acclaimed jazz composer, pianist, vocalist, collaborator, recording artist, teacher—and now actor—Mark G. Meadows is a man on a mission: to create a unifying sound that breaks through social barriers. There’s something for everyone in his music, which harmonizes pop, gospel, R&B, hip hop, funk, and jazz. With his lyrics, suffused with meaning, and his velvet voice, Meadows cuts through the noise to speak to all. Debonair on the stage, he is also an entertainer of the highest caliber.
The son of a gospel and jazz vocalist, Meadows—who released his third studio album, To The People, in 2016—began his musical odyssey at the age of three with the gift of a toy keyboard. At age five, he started formal piano lessons under the tutelage of renowned Russian classical pianist and pedagogue Rosalie LeVant. Then, at age 13, he expanded his training to include jazz piano with the equally renowned Julie Bonk.
Meadows’s formative years were short, beginning to draw attention for his artistry while still a teenager. DownBeat magazine twice awarded Meadows honors for his work, first in 2007, dubbing his song Groovalicious “2nd Best Pop Rock Composition in North America.” In 2008, Downbeat named his performance of In The Groove “Best Pop Rock Solo in North America.”
After graduating from the famed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Meadows went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and jazz piano from Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, he decided to focus on music for the first time, and went on to earn a master’s degree in jazz piano from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Increasingly in demand around the globe, Meadows has performed alongside world-renowned artists, including Bobby McFerrin, Kendrick Lamar, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, and Warren Wolf. He has headlined at premier venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center and Smalls Jazz Club in NYC, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, The Warner Theatre and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; and the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD.
Meadows is also an adjunct instructor at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., where he directs and arranges for the Mellow Tones, a student jazz vocal ensemble featured on To The People. Meadows and the Mellow Tones in 2016 opened up for Kendrick Lamar and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and also opened for acclaimed jazz musician Kurt Elling at The Hamilton Live.
In August 2016, Meadows made his acting debut as the titular role in the Washington, D.C., premiere of the hit Broadway musical Jelly’s Last Jam at the Signature Theatre.
Braxton Cook, (born March 27, 1991) is one of this generation’s emerging voices on the alto saxophone. He is also a talented vocalist and songwriter who’s sound blends both his Soul and R&B influences with his musical background in Jazz.
In the fall of 2011, Braxton transferred from Georgetown University, where he studied English, to the prestigious Juilliard School on the Illinois Jacquet Scholarship to hone his skills as a Jazz saxophonist. Braxton's unique drive and artistry eventually caught the attention of many Jazz greats. In 2012, Grammy Award- Nominated Trumpeter, Christian Scott, asked Braxton to be apart of his band. Braxton toured around the world with Christian’s band playing world-class festivals such as Marciac Jazz Festival, North Sea Festival, London Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival and even proceeded to catch the attention of major publications such as Fader Magazine, Downbeat Magazine and NPR. In 2013, Braxton was selected as a semi-finalist in the internationally coveted Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.
The releases of his 2014 EP “Sketch” and 2015 album “Braxton Cook meets Butcher Brown” amassed him an audience that now spans across the United States. He's since performed sold out shows in major venues such as Bohemian Caverns in Washington DC, Ginny's Supper Club and Rockwood Music Hall in New York City and has even performed at a key Jazz Festivals in the states such as DC Jazz Festival, Art of Cool Jazz Festival, Gardena Jazz Festival, and Central Avenue Jazz Festival. His track record and digital following gained him features in diverse music and culture outlets such as The Washington Post, Downbeat Magazine, Okayplayer, and Saint Heron.
Since graduating from The Juilliard School, Braxton has continued to tour with Christian Scott’s group as well as tour nationally and internationally with other groups such as The New Century Jazz Quintet, Ulysses Owens Quintet and Tomohiro Miro Quartet. In addition, Braxton Cook and his newly formed band The N.E.W. will be touring nationally as well to support the release of his upcoming album Somewhere in Between.
Somewhere in Between is set to release early 2017 and will feature Braxton’s saxophone playing as well as his singing and songwriting. The over arching concept behind this album is the importance of finding your own lane musically and artistically and then trusting in it. It's about discovering yourself and not conforming to the pressures around us. Braxton’s sound and musical identity has always been in between the Soul music that he was raised on and the Jazz that he has studied and grown to love. This album serves as inspiration to artists and people in all walks of life to embrace their uniqueness and own it.