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WRTI Spotlight

WRTI's NPR Live Sessions Video of the Week: Organist Lucas Brown and Friends Play "Sky Views"

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Courtesy of the artist
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Lucas Brown

Organist Lucas Brown is a jazz and classical performing artist, composer, and educator who, with his eponymous septet, incorporates the openness of music into his playing while simultaneously moving into the future.

Watch the Lucas Brown Septet perform "Sky Views" here!

In addition to Lucus on organ, the Lucas Brown Septet includes: Elliot Bild, trumpet; Victor North, saxophone, Nick Lombardelli, trombone; Behn Gillece, vibraphone; Sean Markey, guitar; and Doug Hirlinger, drums.

Lucas was a member of the late saxophone legend Bootsie Barnes’ organ trio starting at age 21, has performed with other jazz artists including Pat Martino, Eric Alexander, Terell Stafford, and Gerald Veasley, and is a sideman on numerous recordings. He also collaborates frequently with choreographer and media artist, Jung-eun Kim.

Fusing the traditional organ trio configuration of organ, guitar, and drums, Lucas' addition of vibes and a killer horn section gives the septet opportunity to explore the boundless musical creativity of the jazz tradition.

"Throughout Jazz Appreciation Month, many of the videos we’re presenting as 'Video of the Week' showcase an assortment of gifted artists from Philadelphia and surrounding areas," notes WRTI Jazz Host and NPR Live Session Executive Producer J. Michael Harrison.

"This week, our Video of the Week artist is also represented as a member of our current custom NPR Live Sessions playlist titled, 'The Rest." This playlist is shining a light on some of the instruments that may have had their moment in the spotlight but are not always given the credit they deserve.

Contributions made to the jazz genre by organists that hail from the Philadelphia area are vast and significant to say the least. Names like Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith, Trudy Pitts, Joey Defrancesco, Groove Holmes and Charles Earland come to mind immediately.

Lucas Brown is another local artist who is holding down the jazz organ tradition. One listen to his latest recording "Sky Views" caused me to request that he allow us to film his band for NPR Live Sessions. One look at the results, and you will understand why.

This is an amazing band filled with special musicians. The music is solid and the band is sublime. Enjoy organist Lucas Brown and his wonderful septet."