Jaman Laws, saxophonist son of jazz great Ronnie Laws will appear with the incredible Vernell Brown Jr Trio at the Freakin’ Frog on Wednesday, March 9th, at 9:30 pm (Pictured above: Vernell Brown Jr).
This special performance is sponsored by Michelob Brewing Co, and is free and open to the public as part of an ongoing effort to keep Jazz alive in Vegas.
Vernell Brown Jr — virtuoso pianist, multifaceted & innovative composer and producer has released 6 CD’s since 1990, including his most recent “Do You Really Love Me” and “13 Letters.” Brown, who has been compared to Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters, says music is for the youth. His philosophy, “Victory Over Violence” aims to put instruments in children hands and music on their minds to deter them from making bad choices.” According to Brown, this philosophy “can help create great musicians, when there are mentors willing to inspire new blood.”
Vernell Brown Jr was a child prodigy. He began playing music at age 4, and by the time he was was a teenager, he was discovered while performing a program sponsored by the Grammys. He was signed by the legendary recording executive Jerry Moss to A&M Records, where he released two albums under the guidance of Moss and Herb Alpert.
Over the years, Brown has collaborated with jazz greats the likes of Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Sample, Marcus Miller, Ernie Andrews, Stix Hooper, Will Jennings and so many more. Vernell recorded and toured extensively with Ronnie Laws, Kenny Garrett and Gladys Knight, and is currently leading the Vernell Brown Jr Trio with Chris Hermes and Joe Thomasula. His career has taken him from his birthplace in Los Angeles, California, throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, to the most prestigious performance venues around the world.
Los Angeles, California based Jaman Laws grew up in a musical family. Jaman, the son of legendary saxophonist Ronnie Laws, took an interest in music at an early age. While traveling on tour with his father, Jaman began to catch on to many of the jazz greats like Earth, Wind and Fire, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, and The Jazz Crusaders.
At the age of ten, Jaman’s father bought him his first alto saxophone and encouraged him to study music in school. He began performing in the school bands, learning how to read and play music, as well as how to play by ear. After graduating high school, he attended local college and performed on the road with his father. By age 20, Jaman was playing in open jam sessions in LA, and started to discover and absorb as much as he could from the musicians around him. While playing live, he developed a name for himself and began performing with local bands, playing reggae, R&B, hip-hop, and jazz. One of his first gigs was with well known drummer Norman Conners, who inspired and motivated Jaman to work himself more and more into the music scene. He eventually got to showcase his talents on the HBO special “Lakawanna Blues.” While playing with other groups, Jaman always planned to pursue a solo career. He began writing and arranging his own music, a fusion of hip-hop, funk, jazz, and soul. This sound led him to his first record deal with Jaggo Records in 2008.
The Vernell Brown Jr Trio, featuring Chris Hermes on Bass, Joe Thomasula on Drums and Vernell Brown Jr on Keys are a joy to watch perform. The accomplished trio has worked together for 4 years, and each musician brings his passion and unique style to create a mix of contemporay jazz. They can be seen every Wednesday at 9:30 pm at The Freakin’ Frog, 4700 S Maryland Parkway, across from UNLV.