Listening to jazz guitarist Larry Brown Jr., a million thoughts run through your mind about who this impressive wonder of a musician sounds like playing his instrument. Coming off the heels of the release of his highly-anticipated debut album, There Can Only Be One, Brown is not resting on his laurels. He has found success as a musician, educator and philanthropist.
— Tonny Binns
Tell me about your latest project?
The project is called, “There Can Only Be One”. It is a compilation of 10 songs I’ve written in the last couple of years, inspired by different things about life, family members, friends, different places — things that make up our daily lives.
Tell me about the title “There Can Only Be One”?
The title for me signifies people being themselves, being unique [and] being who they are. One of the things about my style of play and about who I am I feel it is kind of hard to categorize. A lot of times it is how we equate different people [i.e.] ‘you know they sound like this one or that one.’ It is more so a celebration of uniqueness, about everybody just being because there is only one of you.
Talk a little bit about the Black Church Music Piano Camp in your hometown of Venice, Ill.
The camp was started in 2010. Its mission is to train up new musicians in area churches in the field of music theory, sight reading, skills they need to develop as musicians in church where I started playing publicly. So I felt it a responsibility and a duty as someone from that area, and doing somewhat well in the music industry, to give back , to sow those same seeds that were sown in me to younger people who are interested in the music and would like to go further with it.
Tell me about your work to bring more awareness to heart disease?
I am starting a foundation called The Music from the Heart Foundation. This organization is going to be merged with Heart Awareness in Music. A lot of times, especially in the African American community, we suffer from a lack of knowledge. I am sure we all know someone who knows someone who has had a heart attack or stroke. I think if we can use the power of music we may be able to encourage someone. They may listen to their favorite artist to tell them to go the doctor.
For more information: www.lbjmusic.com