David Arthur Brown

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David Arthur Brown, 2010

David Arthur Brown is an American musician and the lead vocalist and principal songwriter for the US band Brazzaville.

Life and career[edit]

David Arthur Brown was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 19, 1967.[1] He was a runaway who later became interested in low budget travel and poetry. His early years were spent largely in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles. Beginning in his late teens he traveled extensively through Asia, South America and Europe. Along the way he learned to play the saxophone which he played in Beck's band from 1997 through 2000. In Barcelona, during one of Beck's European tours he bought a guitar and began writing songs and singing.[2] From 1997 through 2017 he wrote and recorded 11 full length albums with his band Brazzaville and toured extensively throughout the world.

He currently resides in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona, with his wife and two children.

In 2013 he founded Soyuz Microphones along with Pavel Bazdyrev

He is best described as a "self-taught human being." [3]

Early years[edit]

David Arthur Brown was born in Los Angeles in 1967 to Shulamit Soltes and Robert Wellington Brown. His early years were spent in foster care and then later with his paternal grandmother, Dorothy Ida Brown, a poet who greatly influenced Brown both creatively and spiritually. Brown's teenage years were spent primarily in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles as well as brief stints in Hollywood and Downtown LA. He began writing poetry at the age of 16 giving readings at local venues like The Anti Club and The Lhasa Club. At the age of 18, while living in San Francisco with Courtney Love and Jennifer Finch, he saved up enough money to buy a saxophone. His first lesson was from John Raskin of the avant garde saxophone quartet ROVA. His second lesson was from Blue Water at The One Mind Temple, African Orthodox Church.

Following two house fires in three months, Brown moved back to LA. After living for a brief period in a loft on Skid Row, he moved into the building on Berendo Street that would be his home for the next 14 years. During that time, he became a regular at The Onyx Cafe.[citation needed]


From 1997 to 2000 Brown toured with Beck as his saxophone player. While on tour, he was exposed to many interesting bands. He met and became friends with Mark Sandman of Morphine and began to realize that there was more to music than the jazz that he had been so focused on since picking up the saxophone at 18. He decided to try writing lyrics and singing. He contacted his friend Kenny Lyon, a guitar and bass player and suggested they form a band. Finding a suitable name proved difficult. It was when Brown was reading a story in the LA Times about the civil war in Congo that the answer finally came. When he read the dateline BRAZZAVILLE-Reuters, he knew he had found the name of his new band. Much of Brazzaville's early music reflects Brown's fascination with shipping, Asia, low budget travel and misfits. At the age of 11, he spent many days at work with his father, Robert Wellington Brown, a trucker who hauled shipping containers from the ports in San Pedro and Long Beach to the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific train yards. That period left a lasting impression on Brown and his songwriting and can be heard on tracks like Deng Xiaoping, Shams and Love Sky.

Over the next 20 years, Brown wrote and released 11 albums with Brazzaville. The band had many members but the principals in the US were Kenny Lyon(guitar/bass), David Ralicke(sax/trombone), Joel Virgel-Vierset(drums/vocals), Danny Frankel(drums/percussion) Mike Bolger(trumpet/accordion), Mike Boito(keyboard) and Joe Zimmerman(bass).  After 2003, when he moved to Spain, the band consisted primarily of Brady Lynch(bass), Ivan Knight (drums), Paco Jordi (guitar) and Richie Alvarez (keyboard). After 2009, Kenny Lyon replaced Paco Jordi as the main guitar player.




External links[edit]