Brian Culbertson

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Brian Culbertson
Brian Culbertson.jpg
Background information
Born (1973-01-12) January 12, 1973 (age 48)
OriginDecatur, Illinois, United States
GenresSmooth Jazz, R&B, funk
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsKeyboards
Years active1994–present
WebsiteBrianculbertson.com

Brian Culbertson (born January 12, 1973) is an American smooth jazz/R&B/funk musician, instrumentalist, producer and performer from Decatur, Illinois, United States. His instruments include the synthesizer, piano and trombone.

Early life and career[edit]

Brian Culbertson was born in Decatur, Illinois. As a child, he was musically skilled, having started playing piano at age 8, drums at 9, trombone at 10, bass in 7th grade, euphonium in high school and more.[1]

Growing up, he listened to Sting, The Yellowjackets, George Duke, David Foster, Marcus Miller, David Sanborn, Chicago, and Earth, Wind and Fire.[1] He attended and graduated MacArthur High School,[2] where his father was a music teacher.[1] He then moved to Chicago where he attended DePaul University.[3] It was in college that he actually started working on a CD, gathering a group of musicians, recording a demo tape and sending it to the only person he knew in Los Angeles, Bud Harner, who would get him his first record deal.[4]

He is married to Michelle Culbertson,[5] also known by her stage name Micaela Haley, and they live in Chicago, IL. In an interview, Culbertson revealed that he met his wife in college through his first bass player Sharay Reed who had met Michelle at the World of Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee where they both won awards at the age of 16. Michelle, originally a violinist, won for Best Concert Master and Sharay Reed for Best Soloist. They both were reintroduced to one another at DePaul University two years later. At the end of their Freshman year together Sharay introduced Michelle to Brian telling them that they would make a good match.[6][7] His wife contributed background vocals on his earlier albums and a feature vocal on his Christmas CD, A Soulful Christmas.[8]

Culbertson plays Mason & Hamlin pianos and Roland keyboards[9] and has appeared at the NAMM Show.[10]

In 2013, he announced on his blog that he was working on his fourteenth album,[11] the album Another Long Night Out was released on February 25, 2014 and was going to revisit his earlier roots in contemporary jazz. In 2015, he released a second live album "20th Anniversary Tour" while performing at jazz club Yoshi's[12] and, subsequently, he also released a solo piano album for yoga and meditation.[13]

His latest album, released on April 10, 2020, is aptly titled XX (Roman numeral for 20) because it is his 20th solo record. Featuring many guests including Mr. Talkbox, Bootsy Collins, Avery*Sunshine, Marcus Anderson, Everette Harp, Noel Gourdin, Patches Stewart, Ray Parker Jr., Paul Jackson Jr., Jubu Smith, Nicholas Cole, and more, the XX album is genre-bending ride through tracks reminiscent of all of Brian's albums: Smooth Jazz, Funk, Gospel, Pop, R&B, and more.

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway[edit]

In late 2011, Culbertson announced he would be hosting the first annual Brian Culbertson Napa Valley Jazz Getaway at the Napa Valley Opera House on June 7–10, 2012.[14] Brian along with his wife, Michelle Culbertson (Micaela Haley) began working on the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway together after having spent their 10th wedding anniversary in the region. .[15] The 4-day concert event would include live performances by comedian Sinbad, vocalists Oleta Adams and Kenny Lattimore, as well as artists Eric Marienthal, Eric Darius, and David Benoit. In addition to performances, Culbertson curated the weekend's events to include food and wine events at his favorite Napa establishments including: Cindy Pawlcyn's Brassica restaurant, Miner Family Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Caldwell-Snyder Art Gallery, and Silo's Napa.[16]

The inaugural event was a commercial and critical success, selling out within a week of the public announcement of ticket sales.[17] At the 2012 event, Culbertson announced that the event would return for a second year, held June 5–9, 2013. The expanded 5-day 2013 event was held at the Napa Valley Opera House and the Lincoln Theater in addition to several wineries and featured Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, Take 6, Ray Parker Jr., Eric Darius, Nick Colionne, Michael Lington, DW3, Cecil Ramirez and returning special guest comedian Sinbad.[18]

Awards[edit]

Culbertson has received numerous awards including a 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Jazz Album;[19] 2012 Soul Train Award nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist;[20] Winning Six (6) 2011 Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards for Best Entertainer, Best Album "XII", Best Song "That's Life", Best Keyboardist, Best Male Artist and Best Collaboration "w/Earl Klugh"; 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Best International Artist; 2010 American Smooth Jazz Award for Best Keyboardist; 2005 ASYM All That Jazz Award; 2001 National Smooth Jazz Award for Best Keyboardist.[21]

Gallery[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Record label
US Pop
[22]
US
R&B

[23]
US
Jazz

[24]
US
Con. Jazz

[25]
US
Internet

[26]
1994 Long Night Out - - - - - Mesa / Bluemoon
1995 Modern Life - - 38 - - Mesa / Bluemoon
1996 After Hours - - 50 - - Mesa / Bluemoon
1997 Secrets - - 20 15 - Mesa / Bluemoon
1999 Somethin' Bout Love - - 8 3 - Atlantic
2001 Nice & Slow - - 2 1 - Atlantic
2003 Come On Up 197 36 3 3 - Warner Bros
2005 It's On Tonight 161 - 2 1 18 GRP Records
2006 A Soulful Christmas - - 17 7 - GRP Records
2008 Bringing Back the Funk 99 18 3 1 7 GRP Records
2009 Live from the Inside - - 14 3 - GRP Records
2010 XII 82 15 2 1 9 GRP Records
2012 Dreams 105 - 1 1 17 Verve
2014 Another Long Night Out 83 - 1 1 11 BCM Entertainment
2016 Funk! - - 3 1 - BCM Entertainment
2018 Colors of Love - - 1 1 - BCM Entertainment
2019 Winter Stories 3 1 BCM Entertainment
2020 XX 13 3 BCM Entertainment
2020 Music From The Hang BCM Entertainment
2021 Soundscapes BCM Entertainment
2021 The Trilogy - Part 1: Red = Passion (release 9.24.2021) [27] BMC Entertainment
2022 The Trilogy - Part 2: Blue = Melancholy (release 1.14.2022) [28] BCM Entertainment
2022 The Trilogy - Part 3: White = Hope (release 5.6.2022) [29] BCM Entertainment

Live albums[edit]

Year Title Label Notes
2009 Live From The Inside Verve CD with DVD
2015 Live 20th Anniversary Tour BCM Entertainment recorded live at Yoshi's Sep 11-14, 2014, 2 cd
2019 Colors of Love Tour - Live in Las Vegas BCM Entertainment 2 CD and Blu-ray Disc

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Webber, Brad (March 20, 1994). "Double Life;De Paul Student Brian Culbertson's 'Long Night Out' Cd Catches Fire". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Brian Culbertson's music clicks". Herald & Review. August 16, 1994. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (December 29, 2003). "SPEAKING WITH...Brian Culbertson". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  4. ^ "Another Long Night Out". brianculbertson.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "Brian Culbertson XII". antimusic.com. June 28, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  6. ^ "Brian Culbertson Shared His First Gig with Future Wife Michelle". smoothjazznow.com. October 20, 2004. Archived from the original on December 17, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "Brian's Timeline". brianculbertson.com. Archived from the original on February 12, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  8. ^ "Brian Culbertson on tour". Herald & Review. July 2, 1996. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  9. ^ Schirz, Tiffany. "Brian Culbertson". rolandus.com. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Producer's Corner With Spud Too Tight Was Among The 90,000 Savvy Music Industry Professionals And Icons at the 2011 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA". mi2n.com. January 12, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  11. ^ "New BC Record in the Works". brianculbertson.com. June 19, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  12. ^ "Live CD". brianculbertson.com. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Breathe". brianculbertson.com. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "2013 Highlight Video". Napavalleyjazzgetaway.com. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  15. ^ "Interviews – Brian Culbertson: Blurring the Genre Lines". singersroom.com. August 1, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  16. ^ Carson, L. Pierce (May 30, 2012). "Popular keyboardist/trombonist launches new valley jazzfest". napavalleyregister.com. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  17. ^ Carson, L. Pierce (June 13, 2012). "A word to the jazzwise, Napa Valley Jazz Getaway has legs". napavalleyregister.com. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  18. ^ Carson, L. Pierce (January 9, 2013). "Napa Valley Jazz Getaway – expanded". napavalleyregister.com. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  19. ^ "NAACP Image Awards: Winners Announced". hollywoodreporter.com. February 1, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  20. ^ "The 2012 Soul Train Awards". soultrain.com. October 15, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  21. ^ "Bio". brianculbertson.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  22. ^ "Brian Culbertson: Billboard 200". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Brian Culbertson: Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Brian Culbertson: Top Jazz Albums". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Brian Culbertson: Top Contemporary Jazz Albums". billboard.com.
  26. ^ "Brian Culbertson: Top Internet Albums". billboard.com.
  27. ^ "The Trilogy".
  28. ^ "The Trilogy".
  29. ^ "The Trilogy".

External links[edit]