Rick Braun has that connection with music lovers and fellow musicians

Published on March 22nd, 2021

By Jim Dail

Musicians draw influence from many things in life, and for trumpeter Rick Braun when it came to his most recent record, one area of inspiration was family.

“I have two teen age kids, a daughter 17 and son is almost 16 in a couple weeks,” he said. “I had just finished working on Richard Elliot’s record and before that my last record and then I finished a BWB record and all of them were old school derivative, vintage sounding. I was looking to do something different and I asked my daughter what she was listening to and she said Selena Gomez and Charlie Puth.  I listened to it, and I thought it would work well.”

The song was “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” and it is one of the new tunes on “Around the Horn,” the new album from the famed horn blower.

Braun is bringing his West Coast Jam tour with Richard Elliot and Norman Brown to Thornton Winery on Saturday as part of the 2017 Champagne Jazz Concert Series.

Braun grew up in Allentown, PA., and had his first real band when he was at the Eastman School of Music. Eventually, he released his first record in 1993, but not before collaborating with Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon to write “Here with Me.” Gradually, he became one of the most in-demand performers working such notables as Rod Steward, Tom Petty, Sade and Natalie Cole to name a few. Of course, he as has also collaborated over the years with such jazz stars as Norman Brown, Peter White, Dave Koz, Boney James, Brian Culbertson and Kirk Whalum, in the process scoring more than 20 Number One Smooth Jazz hits.

So when it came time to put a new record together, it was likely there would be some guests and sure enough, there were. Peter White, Lindsey Webster, to name a few.

“Everybody hears different stuff when they listen to things, so I was trying to push the envelope and be much more adventurous with this record, so the influences I pulled from are different from some of my things in the past and I found myself pulling from pop a bit more,” he said.

One of the guests is Webster on “Love Takes Me.”

“She is awesome and the song she did with me I put on the record twice, once as an instrumental and once as a vocal,” he said. “I had been working on it and I wanted it to be an instrumental. I’d worked with Bud Horner for a long time and I kind of used him as a sounding board and I love it because he has great instincts. He thought it would be a nice vocal and suggested I send it to Lindsey. I did and she amazed me because she sent me the lyrics and a finished vocal in two days. I only had a few lines of lyrics to lead me down the road and she just took off with it.”

There is also long-time friend and collaborator Peter White who played on “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “Vila Vita.”

“I always like working with Peter,” he said. “He brought so much to the table and added so much with his particular style of playing.”

And Braun’s style for creativity is all about melody and feelings.

“When I am working on a song or selecting one, it has to do with the melody and has to create an image and an idea in my head,” he said. “There is no one thing I look for. It is s just something that hits me. It’s hard to say there’s an intangible thing. I was working on some things and messing around and listening to with ‘Yellow’ and Jonathan came and listened to it as I worked on it and he said I should do it.”

Another key contributer was John Stoddard.

“He played keyboards and was my co-producer and he did an awesome job,” he said. “He played with BWB and he flew out to stay with me. He wrote songs with me and just added so much to the whole process.”

Of course, Braun is not only about the new record but other projects as well, such as Rick Braun’s European River Cruise Getaway in August 2019.

“I’ve performed in Germany before but never on a river cruise,” he said. “We have an amazing lineup with Jonathan Butler and Richard Elliot.

The all-inclusive cruise ventures from Amsterdam to Basel.

And Braun’s annual New Year’s Eve Getaway is back again in Tucson, Arizona, at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa.

“We have an amazing lineup from Dave Koz, Jonathan Butler. Michael Lington, Lindsey Webster and Vincent Ingala. Two days of music, dining and dancing. There is also a golf tournament, all to benefit the Autism Society.”

Both the cruise and the New Year’s Eve party can be booked at www.rickbraun.com.

“I’ve really been blessed to play with all these people and to be able to go out and play for so many audiences all over the world,” he said. “Thornton is such a special place for me as well.”


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