"Frosty El Cubano"
Performed by Brownman & CRUZAO
Brownman's latin-jazz adaptation of the Christmas classic "Frosty the Snowman"
Brownman & CRUZAO - latin-jazz-urbania
"Canada's premiere latin-jazz ensemble" - Chicago Tribune
"Chordless latin-jazz-urbania... a first in history" - New York University
"The finest latin-jazz group to come out of Canada" - CBC Radio Canada
Brownman Ali - trumpet/flugelhorn/compositions (Trinidad)
Marcus Ali - alto sax (Trinidad)
Luisito Orbegoso - congas (Peru)
Chendy Leon - drum set & timbales (Cuba)
Paco Luviano - 5 & 6-string electric bass (Mexico)
*[Marc Rogers appears on Frosty subbing for Paco on bass]
Considered Canada's premiere latin-jazz ensemble - this hard hitting multi-award winning latin-jazz unit under the leadership of Trinidadian born, New York City schooled trumpet player & composer Nick "Brownman" Ali funkifies it's audiences with Brownman's original latin-jazz-urban compositions and high-energy virtuositic jazz soloists. The amalgamation of authentic latin rhythm, jazz harmony and urban ideology, this group began it's career as a musical experiment in 2001 for Brownman in the tonal qualities of latin music composed in a chordless setting (no piano, no guitar). Unlike the rich 5 decade chordless jazz tradition, this texture had never been explored in Latin America, due to the dominance and omni-presence of the piano "montuno" or equivalent guitar structures. The result - Nick "Brownman" Ali & CRUZAO - the first chordless latin-jazz-urban ensemble in history.
The group would win the 2001 coveted Montreal Jazz Festival's "Grand Prix du Jazz" Award, which led to Brownman being signed to the prestigious JUSTIN TIME RECORDS label in Montreal. Shortly after it's release CRUZAO's "Shades Of Brown" recording would rocket to the top of the jazz charts and remain there for 3 months. 2002 would see Brownman named Canada's "National Jazz Composer of the Year" for his groundbreaking compositions on the Shades of Brown recording and later that year he would be additionally awarded a CBC Galaxie "Rising Star" Award, again for his work with CRUZAO. Today the group is widely considered Canada's most accomplished and docorated latin-jazz ensemble, have acheived much international acclaim - most recently headlining the Havana Jazz Fest in Cuba and is currently required listening as an example of post-modern latin-jazz in the New York University jazz curriculum.
BROWNMAN - trumpet player / composer
"Brownman... one of the next great voices in the new generation of jazz improvisers."
- Randy Brecker, multiple grammy winning jazz trumpet legend & long-time mentor to Brownman
Born 'Nick Ali' on the small Caribbean island of Trinidad, the multiple award winning Brownman is the NYC-schooled protégé to his teacher, Grammy-winning trumpet legend Randy Brecker. In the spirit of supreme trumpet genre-crossing visionaries such as Brecker and Miles Davis, he tirelessly leads and composes actively for no less than 6 ensembles of his own and is a musical director and/or featured soloist in countless others; testament to his unparalleled diversity of musical vision and skills making him one of Canada's most decorated jazz artists and highly in demand session calls for both Universal and Sony recording studios in forms of music ranging from be-bop to hip-hop. As a featured soloist he has appeared with Canada's leading Latin, urban, hiphop, reggae, island and DJ artists in addition to his foundational jazz milieu. With just under 200 recording credits to his name - many of these albums having won or been nominated for Junos (Canada's Grammy) - he is considered to be one of the most unique and provocative improvising trumpet players on the scene today, recently being called "Canada's preeminent jazz trumpeter" by NYC's Village Voice.
As a leader his mult-award winning latin-jazz-urban ensemble CRUZAO has toured this country's jazz festival and club circuit extensively, being called by the Globe and Mail "the most in demand jazz ensemble of 2002". The group would win the Montreal Jazz Fest's coveted "Grand Prix du Jazz" award leading to his being signed to the Justin Time Records label, simultaneous to winning a CBC-Galaxie "Rising Star" award. The subsequent 2002 release of "Shades Of Brown" would rocket to #1 on national jazz charts and remain there for 3 months. He would be awarded a National Jazz Award for "Composer of the Year" for the tunes he composed on that same recording. Europe welcomed the NICK ALI TRIO in 2002 & 2003 and the BROWNMAN ELECTRYC TRIO in 2004 as the group toured the continent and recorded 2 records released on European labels. 2005 would see an extensive Canadian touring in early months of the year and the later with a South American tour beginning in Cuba. At the personal invitation of legendary pianist Chucho Valdes, he would represent Canada at the Havana Jazz Festival; leading CRUZAO HAVANA comprised of an all-Cuban rhythm section featuring members of the essential Afro-Cuban ensemble IRAKERE performing original Brownman compositions as recorded by CRUZAO. This performance marked the beginning of a two month extensive tour of South and Central America concluding with a gig with GARY BARTZ in Belize and a recording session in Cuba with legendary timba group CHISPA Y LOS COMPLICES. Brownman is currently recording a second release with CRUZAO, simultaneous to a recording of his energized Miles Davis influenced ELECTRYC TRIO.
Brownman has performed or recorded with the likes of Wayne Shorter, Randy Brecker, Charlie Hunter, John Scofield, Soulive, KRS-1, Guru's Jazzmatazz, Sting, Fertile Ground, Kenny Wheeler, Hugh Fraser, Don Thompson, Kirk Macdonald, Pat Labarbera, Dave Restivo, Dave Young, Stich Wynston, Kelly Jefferson, Quincin Nachoff, Rita Di Ghent, Heather Bambrick, Philosopher Kings, Kyprios, Rikoshay, K-OS, Pocket Dwellers, God Made Me Funky, Moses Mayes, Divine Brown, Grüvoria, Juke Joint, One Step Beyond, Kush, Jason Wilson, Tabarruk, D'bi Young, Dub Trinity, Kobo Town, Irakere, NG La Banda, Chucho Valdes, Hilario Duran, Energia Latina, Chiva, Bestial, Cimarron, Tumbao Inc., Ricky Franco, Fito Blanko, Eliana Cuevas, Plan C, Macondo, Pacande, Banda Bella, Dominicanada & far too many more to list here...
Brownman leads and composes actively for 6 groups of his own, all of which have gained critical acclaim in their own diverse idioms - the award-winning latin-jazz unit CRUZAO, a 15-man large ensemble version of that group - CRUZAO GRUPO MONSTRUOSO, jazz-hip-hop group GRUVASYLUM, mainstream hard-swinging threesome The NICK ALI TRIO, the Miles Davis influenced ELECTRYC TRIO and the 10-piece Salsa powerhouse MARRÓN MATIZADO.
Brownman is one of the most decorated Canadian jazz artists today:
2008 Toronto Independent Music Award nominee for "Jazz Group of the Year"
2008 National Jazz Award nominee for "Electric Jazz Group of the Year"
2007 NOW Magazine's "Toronto Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year"
2007 National Jazz Award for "Electric Jazz Group of the
2007 A staggering 5 nominations at the National Jazz Awards
2006 National Jazz Award nominee for "Latin-jazz artist of the Year"
2005 NOW Magazine's "Toronto Jazz Artist of the Year".
2004 Brownman & CRUZAO - Independant Music Award nominee
2003 MARRON MATIZADO - "Best Toronto Salsa Band" (SalsaSPOT)
2002 Canadian "Jazz Composer of the Year" (National Jazz Award)
2002 National Jazz Award nominee for "Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year"
2001 winner of the Montreal Jazz Fest's "Grand Prix Du Jazz Award".
2001 CRUZAO awarded the CBC Galaxie "Rising Star" Award
3 time nominee for "Jazz Trumpet Player of the Year" (NJA).
CRUZAO - 3 time nominee for "Electric Group of the Year" (NJA).
"Canada's preeminent jazz trumpet player"
- NYC's Village Voice
"... the most versatile hornman in Canada"
- Chicago Tribune
"... virtuostic, energized and in the spirit of Miles Davis"
- Toronto's NOW Magazine.
"One of the next great voices in the new generation of jazz improvisors"
- Randy Brecker, multi-grammy winning legendary trumpeter
"Brownman... Remarkable writing and burning energy"
- John Scofield, jazz guitar giant
"... uniquely creative and fearless - like a young Miles Davis"
- Guru, legendary hip-hop icon of Gangstarr/Jazzmatazz fame
"CRUZAO... deliciously quirky & invigorating... seethes with energy, particularly showing off the skills of trumpeter Brownman Ali and his brother Marcus on alto sax".
- Toronto Star
"Brownman & CRUZAO... the finest latin-jazz group Canada's ever produced"
"Brownman & CRUZAO breaks down the boundaries between latin, jazz and urban music in the most innovative way I've seen yet. We may be looking at the evolution of latin-jazz here."
- Memo Acevedo, NY University professor of Latin-jazz
"Nick Brownman Ali... a warm, personable soloist displaying an engaging mix or quirks and lyricism."
- Toronto's Globe and Mail
"Brownman... Nick Ali... Marrón... this young trumpet player has as many names as he has skills"
- Canada Picante Xpress Latin Magazine
"Energy is never in short supply in Brownman Ali's world. This Toronto/Trinidadian trumpeter loves skipping from style to style almost as much as he digs mixing it up with the jazz elite"
- CBC Radio Canada