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Brian Varner

Bryan's love of music started when he joined band in his teens. He earned a music scholarship to UT and studied classical trumpet. He found his singing voice in his 30s. As a vocalist he has a background in choral music and musical theater, but his main interest is jazz from the great American songbook. He has been a featured guest singer at different venues around Knoxville including the Red Piano Lounge and has earned air time on Kelle Jolly’s jazz jam show on WUOT public radio. Brian lost his eyesight as an adult which makes his story as a vocalist and a musician even more remarkable.

Jane George

Grace Moore recipient at University of Tennessee School of Music. Has performed as vocalist, actress, and worked in stand-up comedy. Jane George recently moved to Knoxville from Los Angeles where she performs with SWINGBOOTY and is involved with numerous personal recording projects.

Connor Lafollette

Connor Lafollette is a drummer and keyboard player based out of Knoxville, TN. He is junior at University of Tennessee School of Music. He has played in numerous jazz bands including The Terrapin Quartet, the Jake Bird Trio, and Swingbooty.

MUSICIAN Born:

Tom C. Smith

A bass player since 1975, Tom's tendency to overplay was due to his 60s rock influences and angered many, many guitar players. Fast forward 40 years and we find Tom indulging in the gypsy jazz world playing bass to the music of long-time favorite Django Reinhardt. Tom also loves jam band and freestyle improv music and will play normal music as well...sometimes.

MUSICIAN Born:

Will Boyd

Multi-reed instrumentalist, composer, educator Will Boyd hails from soul sax tradition like artists Eddie Harris, David Newman, and Houston Person. Originally from Orangeburg SC by way of Queens NY, Will currently resides in Knoxville TN. He is a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and currently has 2 solo albums “Live at the Red Piano Lounge” and “Freedom Soul Jazz”. Will also co-leads a group with Wife, jazz radio host, and founder of the Knoxville Women in Jazz Jam Festival Kelle Jolly.  Will was playing with professional local R&B groups before he was 18. He then received more training at the music program at South Carolina State University where he received BA in Music Business and met future wife vocalist Kelle Jolly

Kenneth Brown

Knoxville, TN based drummer, educator, composer, he wrote six of the tunes here, and band leader Kenneth Brown, son of jazz visionary pianist Donald Brown is set to release his debut CD 3 Down on Space Time Records. Born into a musical family Kenneth's household was filled with music led by his father. and later his brother Keith also a pianist. It was also during this same time period that Kenneth starting to gain exposure to all kinds of music which has always paid big dividends! By the age of four Kenneth was already playing drums and within a couple more years was studying piano "to gain a harmonic foundation in the music"

Keith Brown

Keith L. Brown is a pianist, composer, bassist and educator. This son of three-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist/composer Donald Brown was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Knoxville, TN. Keith earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2009 and completed his Masters of Music Degree in May 2011. In 2010, Keith was invited to Meudon, France to record his debut jazz CD entitled “Sweet and Lovely” on the Space Time Records label. CD personnel included Essiet Essiet, Marcus Gilmore, Stephane Belmondo, and Baptiste Herbin. His CD was released world-wide on April 15th, 2011 to rave reviews

MUSICIAN Born:

Jack Pribek

I write and record guitar instrumental music.

Christian Lange

Band leader of Swingbooty, gypsy jazz band based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Big Ears Festival 2019

Read "Big Ears Festival 2019" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN March 21-24, 2019 The major focus of this year's Big Ears Festival was a celebration of ECM Records' 50th anniversary, which included a number of live performances (representing both the main label and the classical music imprint ECM New Series) as well as a panel ...


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