Jeff Bradshaw& Friends…. “Love’s Holiday”
Soul-jazz and hip-hop/funk innovator and trombone virtuoso Jeff Bradshaw has toured the world playing alongside some of the industry’s biggest talents, including Robert Glasper, Black Thought, Trombone Shorty, Take 6, Marsha Ambrosius, Kim Burrell, Najee, Kenny Lattimore, Bilal, Tweet, and Will Downing. Singer, songwriter, and producer Eric Roberson received his degree in Music Theater from Howard University. His first single, “The Moon,” charted on Billboards Top 100 R&B/Hip Hop Chart, and he’s worked with notable artists including DJ Jazzy Jeff, Osulande, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Carl Thomas, Vivian Green, 112, and Will Smith
Jeff Bradshaw “All Time Love”
Once upon a time, R&B was known for great live performances marked by passion, spontaneity and even transcendence through the great soul revues at such storied venues as The Apollo Theater, The Howard Theater, and The Uptown. The musicians playing behind the singers were often the finest players from the realms if R&B jazz and gospel, who delivered intricate arrangements, electrifying solos, and undeniable groove. In recent times, such performances have been rare but the hunger for that special sort of musical experience is still there and maybe it just takes someone with great determination and vision to bring it back. Jeff Bradshaw, a key player in Philadelphia’s influential neo-soul scene is the man with such vision. As a boy in Philadelphia Bradshaw performed with brass bands on Broad Street, just a stone’s throw from the spot where Philadelphia’s most prestigious performing arts center, The Kimmel Center, stands today; he dreamed: why not bring the crème-de-la-crème of singers and players to The Kimmel for a genre-crossing one-night-only musical event that would replicate the excitement of the classic R&B revues for this generation of fans. Since Bradshaw’s trombone has propelled horn sections for everyone from Jill Scott to Jay-Z and Erykah Badu to Kirk Franklin, this was an easy sell.
The respect accorded Jeff Bradshaw by his peers is shown by the impressive list of artists who wanted to be a part of the concert: Marsha Ambrosius, Will Downing, Black Thought of The Roots, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Najee, Bilal, Eric Roberson, Tweet, Kenny Lattimore, Trombone Shorty and Executive Producer Robert Glasper, whose recent BLACK RADIO albums have been innovative fusions of jazz and R&B, becoming some of the biggest-selling jazz releases of the past decade-ironically scoring big with a concept Jeff Bradshaw had been presenting for years. Bradshaw’s Kimmel Center dream came to fruition on May 28, 2014, and the result was a sold-out success in front of a rapturous, wildly appreciative audience. “Over my 14-year career as a solo artist and sideman to the biggest in the biz. “Bradshaw relates, “I was always told: ‘I love your music but when I heard you live I really understand how special you are as an artist and performer.’ So I reached out to all my friends, who just happen to be great artists that I’m fans of and explained to them the trail-blazing journey I was preparing to embark on and they all wanted in. After running the idea by Jay Whal, The Kimmel Center’s Creative Director, where I’ve played many times in their ‘Sittin’ In’ series, he loved the idea and we went to work on building this masterpiece.” Nothing was left to chance for Bradshaw’s special concert. He assembled a magnificent XX piece band complete with backing singers and a horn section to back his stellar line-up of singers. Together Bradshaw and Glasper masterminded sophisticated arrangements that would embellish the songs to their ultimate potential. Jeff Bradshaw was born in North Philadelphia. His father was a minister so his formative musical experiences were in church, where brass bands were a staple. Jeff amazingly never took formal lessons. The first instrument he began playing was the snare drum. Following that he began playing baritone horn and sousaphone. He recalls one life-changing day in high school when everyone was asked to stand in front of the instrument they would like to play. Students crowded around the drums, guitars, saxophones, trumpets, percussion and woodwinds, but not one person was standing near the stack of trombones in the corner. He chooses to play trombone and became determined to make the trombone hip, a cool instrument in mainstream music, not just jazz.