Mr. B’s Annual Birthday Bounce
Kerrytown Club Series
- $35 - SOLD OUT Assigned Rows 1-2
- $25 Assigned Rows 3-5
- $20 General Admission
- $10 Student
- Mark Lincoln Braun, piano
- Kurt Krahnke, bass
- Leonard King, drums
Jazz, boogie woogie and blues pianist Mark Lincoln Braun (a.k.a. Mr. B.) returns to Kerrytown Concert House for his annual Birthday Bounce to celebrate his 60th birthday! This year the concert will feature all original works composed by the pianist himself. Don't wait to make your reservation, this is one of our signature events!
This concert is made possible in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Don Chisholm Friends of Jazz at KCH. A cash bar will be available courtesy of the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association.
Mark Lincoln Braun
“The future of blues piano is in good hands with Mr. B.” - Jazz News International
Blues and boogie-woogie pianist Mark Lincoln Braun is one of the premiere purveyors of a vanishing art. Having learned his craft first-hand from the early masters-- blues and boogie legends Little Brother Montgomery, Boogie Woogie Red, and Blind John Davis --Mark is a rare living link to the first generation of blues and boogie pianists.
In demand for both educational programs and concert performances, Mark has performed coast to coast and throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan Mark gravitated to Ann Arbor in the 70s where the Blind Pig was an important venue for boogie and blues piano. While absorbing the tradition and developing his own approach, Mr. B was also listening to a variety of jazz pianists, especially those with strong blues roots. This broad range of interests enables him to feel equally at home playing boogie woogie classics with authentic fervor, and expanding the tradition into lively new settings, including jazz orchestra. Today he further promotes his art and breaks down stylistic barriers by frequently collaborating with world renowned mainstream jazz pianists including Monty Alexander, Henry Butler, Benny Green, Ray Bryant, Sir Charles Thompson, and Junior Mance. Mark has appeared on numerous National Public Radio broadcasts, including “Mountain Stage,” “Good Evening,” “Our Front Porch,” “The Flea Market,” “At the Bride,” and “All Things Considered.”
Mr. Bʼs many critically acclaimed recordings also demonstrate his breadth and originality. His most recent, for which Mr. B assembled nine noted Ann Arbor-area pianists and benefits youth in the arts and athletics, is 9 Pianists – Our Town, Our Time. Live at the Kerrytown Concert House shows the solo pianist playing original takes on blues and boogie standards while “Joybox” features him stretching out on his own compositions supported by bass and drums. With legendary jazz greats J. C. Heard and Marcus Belgrave, he recorded “Partners in Time.” His recording of trios and duets (“My Sunday Best”) features the renowned be-bop drummer Roy Brooks. Mr. Bʼs collaboration with the 15-piece Bird of Paradise Orchestra (“Hallelujah Train”) has produced an original and explosive blend of boogie, blues, and big band jazz. Most recently he has collaborated in the studio with some of todayʼs premiere blues artists, including John Hammond (“Found True Love”), Duke Robillard (“Dangerous Place”), and Big Bill Morganfield (“Ramblinʼ Mind”) among many others.
Acoustic bassist Kurt Krahnke is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, but also studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. He toured the east coast with Ron Levy for two years and then returned to Detroit, where he taught with the Summer Music Program under the direction of Wendell Harrison. Since his return to Michigan, Krahnke has played with Phil Lasley, Jimmy Giuffre, Joe Henderson, Sonny Fortune, Pinetop Perkins, Russell Green, and toured and recorded with Leon Thomas. In 1989, Kurt performed as a finalist in the Hennessey Jazz Search in Hollywood, CA, with the Steve Wood/Brad Felt Quintet. Krahnke played and toured with the acclaimed JC Heard Orchestra from 1986-89 and received the Best Jazz Bassist award from the Metro-Times. Kurt has recorded and played with Paul VornHagen for eight years and continues to serve as a mentor for young bassists in the region.
Leonard King, Jr. was born February 14, 1948 and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He was musically inspired very early in life and received his first phonograph player at age two. "I' ve been told that I used to bother the family record player all the time so my parents bought me my own. It played on 78's until my father converted it to play all three speeds—78, 45, and 33 1.3."
He began his life in music as a singer. His early vocal influences were Jackie Wilson, Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, and Chuck Berry. His interest in rhythm patterns began to blossom soon afterwards. During this period many drummers were prominent bandleaders in the U.S. and several of them had popular recordings such as Art Blakey, Gene Krupa, Cozy Cole, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, and Louie Bellson. "I would use anything that was available in our house to make rhythm sounds including spoons, rulers, paint cans, and chairs. Once I started making dents in the chairs then my parents asked me if I wanted to take drum lessons and I said 'yes'." Eventually he learned to sing AND play simultaneously.
The Detroit music scene was very fertile in his youth and Leonard had the opportunity to meet Chico Hamilton, Art Blakey, and Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MG's. He formed a neighborhood band with his two brothers Gregory, and Atiba King that became known as Leonard King and the Soul Messengers and remained together for ten years.
He formed his own record company entitled Uuquipleu (yoo-kee-ploo) Records and has recorded several CD's with OOPAPADA featuring Dr. Prof. Leonard King, guitarist Robert Tye, and organist Chris Codish. Additionally, King has released a CD featuring the James Carter Organ Trio (under King's leadership) with Carter, Gerard Gibbs, and himself.
Recently King has implemented his "Drum Fun and Vocals, Too" program throughout Minneapolis/St. Paul and other cities in Minnesota, and tours the world regularly with James Carter. Also he is a co-music director for the Southpaw Isle Steelband and is featured on the group's most recent CD, "The Music of Astor Piazzolla Plus Five Composers"