Hi my friends … It’s been a long time since we last spoke but I have some great stories to share with you. Before we proceed . . . If you want to have news from my rock band Edwin & the Bedouins, please go here, and for links to my author website please go here. Now the classical news:
WHAT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN: 2019 should be an amazing year: I am going to launch my lucky 13th album "Edwin Orion Brownell Goes Baroque" sometime in the fall with the help of The Zara Strings. Although this will be the highlight of my classical year in music, I plan to be busy before that with a tribute performance in the early months of the year to my late friend, the great funk and blues bassist Richard Fallis, who passed away in December 2018. In the spring I will finally have the official launch of "Before," my rock album chronicling my early years as a sideman in groups like Straight No Chaser, Angel and the Bad Boys and Black and Blue. Besides these shows, please keep your eyes peeled for notices of benefit concerts I will be playing at!!!
WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING: 2018 was a relatively quiet year for launches, but it was a wonderful year for creation!!! I made three albums ("Before," "Edwin Orion Brownell Goes Baroque," and "Romance"), which, as mentioned before, will be launched over the next two years. For fundraising and benefit concerts it was another story: In 2018 I was able to give the Montreal Native Friendship Centre over $1,500 in 2018 (I gave $1,000 to the same organization in 2017), and as part of Peter Angrove's annual "Bands for Baskets" I also helped raise over $4,000 for the West Island Mission.
My 11th CD “Songs for Canada” was launched at the at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in the Eleanor London CSL Public Library on April 27, 2017. At the solo piano concert I performed 4 of the 6 new pieces of the “Songs for Canada” piano sonata and presented an audio-visual tour of the Ein Gedi Kibbutz with photos taken by renowned Haaretz photographer Noam Moskowitz while I played the “Ein Gedi Suite.” Videos from the concert can be seen here, and cuts and outtakes from the recording sessions can be seen and heard here.
My last concert at Loyola Chapel in Montréal on Saturday October 22nd 2016 was a resounding success. This concert launched my 10th album “The Inside Track” and featured a sextet version of The Zara Strings. We recorded my 11th album at this concert as well, and I will be launching this in the summer of 2017. A few clips of studio recordings from “The Inside Track” are here, and film of the show will be available here.
In the midsummer of last year I was honoured to perform at a Sheldon Kagan fundraiser for the Cummings Centre at the Rialto Theatre. My solo set went wonderfully and you can see videos from that production here.
My 9th album, “Forever Laughter" was premiered at Place des Arts in Montreal in the spring of 2014. This launch of a live “greatest hits” CD, featured a quintet version of The Zara Strings (Flaviu and Loredana Zanca with special guests), and songs from the warm-up to this concert were recorded for my latest release. Video excerpts from the show can be seen here.
The previous year, my 6th album “SMILE” was released in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre on Friday December 6th. The first set introduced a new piece from my “Canada Suite,” followed by selections from the CD. The second set featured stellar performances by Flaviu and Loredana Zanca of The Zara Strings, and the music included reworked versions of the “Tangier Suite” and “The Hummingbird Waltz” from my 2005 release “Music of the Dance” as well as a newly arranged version of “Gypsy Dance” from “SMILE.” We closed the show with a selection of Christmas carols, sung beautifully by my backup singers Sharon Blauer and Levy Lumabao. The concert was a resounding success, and the highlight was getting to play for my late beloved girlfriend Olive (101 year old at the time)!!! A clip from a TV spot advertising the concert can be seen here.
WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR: Now that albums 12, 13 and 14 are in the can, I am still looking for a classical orchestra to work on the Ein Gedi Suite for my 15th album. Any takers (1)?
WHAT I AM WORKING ON: I have now finished writing my first book “Operation Hannibal.” This history treatise is based around my mother’s experience in the German evacuation of Prussia in 1945, and will be the first English examination of this campaign; the largest sea-evacuation in history. Again, the Website is here, and remember I am looking for a publisher … Any takers (2)?
THANKS TO: The two people keeping me going through all of this are my wife Nechama and my mom MeeMee! You are the very best of everyone, and I love you both so much for being there for me. My step-daughters Shiri and Michal are constant inspirations, as are their husbands Ian and Noam and my SUPER-DUPER grandchildren AidenWaiden, Ofiroonie and Amitski!!!! My pal Bob Malvasio has been responsible for my webpages and while I am now going to take on that task myself, I have to thank him from my heart for his diligence and amazing work over the last two decades. He will still be responsible for the graphics on all my upcoming albums, and I am so grateful for his professionalism and his friendship!!! Peter Bowering has done most of the recording and mixing of the upcoming releases, and my friend Ryan Moray is again back in the mastering chair: I am so proud of everything these artists have done with my music! Thanks are also due to my good buddies Flaviu and Loredana Zanca (the core of The Zara Strings), Chris Leon (who did most of the audio on my previous albums) and Jillian Deevy and Gali Nelson (who have taken care of the merchandising at all my concerts). I have the BEST team!
SO FINALLY: See you at some of the concerts at Retirement Homes I play at in Montreal and Ottawa. My rock group Edwin & the Bedouins will play this year at the launch of "Before," and the Zara Strings will perform at the upcoming launch of "Edwin Orion Brownell Goes Baroque." Enjoy your visit at the online store, enjoy my music, enjoy the coming holiday season and ENJOY life!!!