A multi-instrumentalist and composer who performs on trumpet, bass and drums, Brad Goode is recognized as a unique stylist with a highly creative approach to improvisation. He has recorded on dozens of jazz albums, including 18 as a leader for the Delmark, Sunlight, SteepleChase and Origin labels. He is a dedicated educator, with many of his students enjoying successful music careers.
Brad began playing violin at age 4, switching to rock guitar at age 8. He later earned a BM degree in classical trumpet at the University of Kentucky, and an MM degree in bass at DePaul University. His trumpet teachers include Vincent DiMartino, Byron Baxter, Clark Terry, Chris Gekker and William Adam. He studied bass with Larry Gray, Donald "Rafael" Garrett, Carroll Crouch, and Eddie DeHaas.
Brad learned Jazz through the time-honored system of apprenticeship. His participation in this tradition was extensive, lasting well into his thirties. During his apprenticeship years, he toured and recorded with the bands of Von Freeman, Red Rodney, Eddie Harris, Ira Sullivan, Curtis Fuller, Jack DeJohnette, Ernie Krivda, Eddie Johnson, Rosemary Clooney, Barrett Deems and the Woody Herman Orchestra, among others.
Brad led his own combo in Chicago from 1985 until 1998, including a twelve-year stint as leader of the house band at the Green Mill. As a Cultural Ambassador for Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago, he led jazz groups on tours of Asia and the Middle East. He was named one of the most influential Chicagoans of the 1980s by the Chicago Tribune, who credited him as a “major catalyst in the revitalization of the Chicago jazz scene.”
Brad’s work as a musician has taken many forms. As a freelance musician, he has performed extensively as a first trumpeter for big bands, salsa groups, symphony orchestras, musical theatre productions, and commercial recordings. As a soloist, he is equally comfortable playing Traditional Jazz, Swing, Bebop, Fusion, Free Jazz, Klezmer, Pop, and Classical, possessing a memorized repertoire of hundreds of songs in each genre. He is active as a bassist as well, in a variety of contexts. Brad currently tours with the bands of Canadian vocalist Matt Dusk and West African drummer Paa Kow, and with his own quintet featuring legendary saxophonist Ernie Watts.
As an educator, Brad’s desire to help musicians succeed is his primary focus. He combines experience as a seasoned performer with a passion for study and research, and he offers a thoughtful perspective to his classes and private students. He is recognized as a master teacher of brass technique, and is an authority on rehabilitation and recovery from injury in brass players. He teaches jazz history to performers from the perspective of a performer, utilizing in-depth musical analysis. Brad’s philosophy on the teaching of improvisation is unique, formed by his own learning experiences outside of academia. He has presented lectures internationally on the need for a reconsideration of jazz pedagogy methods, and teaches courses on jazz pedagogy to graduate students and educators. He believes in the value of jam sessions as learning environments, and runs weekly sessions for students to learn by playing with pros.