FAB'S MUSIC CAFE: Kevin 'BRANDINO' Brandon, the interview

FAB'S MUSIC CAFE: Kevin 'BRANDINO' Brandon, the interview

Kevin was born in Compton, California to loving parents, and into a talented family who where from richly diverse musical cities of Chicago , Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. From birth he has congenital club feet and a hip displacement , but he did not allow this condition to deter him from pursuing his passion for music and the zest for life. Meeting Louis Armstrong at one of his concerts was also an inspiration in his early years... Kevin was self-taught at the tender age of 4, playing his sister's piano and at age 7 he took up his brother's saxophone, as he was gifted and enjoyed playing several instruments. When he was 9 his father suggested that he find a dedicated instrument of his own to play. Kevin wanted to play drums, however, his father thought with his handicap, eventually he would become discouraged.His older brother had a band and persuaded him to play electric bass because it was needed. Christmas of that year, Kevin received his first bass, a St George bass obtained from a swap meet. His brother taught him the basic technique and playing position, and the Kevin took it from there. He listened to various musical styles from Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Big Band swing, Classical, Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Rock. During that time there were no stereo systems, stereo sound, or digital technology as we know it today. There were only records players and vinyl records. Many bass notes were difficult to hear, so Kevin put his ear over the record player as it played, to hear the bass notes for the songs he would play in his brothers band. At 13 years of age he began his formal musical training on the flute with Milton Hall from Watts,CA. Acoustic bass began during this time with Mr Hamilton also from Watts as well, which he continued through High School. At Pius the Tenth High School, Kevin learn to read music on both instruments respectively. The flute in treble clef and the bass in bass clef. He studied harmony, 20th century western music, counterpoint, and took other music courses as well.In addition, he performed with the prestigious all-city Pico Rivera Stage Band, yielding him the experience, and understanding of the bass player's role in a big band. This band won numerous awards, and the Hollywood Bowl Competitions for 3 consecutive years. In this same band, Kevin received the Jazz Soloist Award at the Orange Coast College Jazz Band Competitions. After graduating from Pius the Tenth High School, Kevin earned a full scholarship to the University of Southern California; however, his love for jazz prompted him to forego the USC Scholarship. Instead he opted to attend Cerritos and Long Beach Colleges, know for their jazz programs. Soon after, his desire to play professionally, and an opportunity to work with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, relocated Kevin to New York City. After his stint with Tommy Dorsey, he returned to Los Angeles, and also returned to his previous classical acoustic bass training, studying under renowned bassist's: David Borkenhagen, Nathaniel Gangursky, Ami Porat, and was a protege of Barry Lieberman from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. While working in the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, Kevin finished his education at the University of Long Beach. As his career escalated, Kevin has become a premier bassist /producer on the music scene. Today, he has found great success working with many of the world's top recording artists, entertainers, musicians, and is involved in a myriad of events within the music, entertainment, television, multimedia, web designing and film industries. In 2007 he was awarded by the National Association of Recording Arts and Science Double Grammy 's for his musicianship and participation on the 2007 Grammy Nominated " Album of the Year " and "Best Pop Vocal Album " Justin Timberlake "FutureSex/LoveSounds", 2006 Best R&B Album of the Year "Breakthrough" by Mary J Blige , 2005 Beyonce and Stevie Wonder " So Amazing " single and the 2004 Grammy Album Of The Year , Best Rap Album , " OUTKAST ".
Duration: 31:26

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Known as the “Fretless Monster”, Tony Franklin has played alongside some of the greatest names in music history. He got his big break in 1984 as bassist in stellar supergroup The Firm, with guitar legend Jimmy Page, vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Chris Slade (AC/DC, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band). Franklin’s signature fretless growl was a distinctive and instantly recognizable element of the band’s first hit, Radioactive. After two hit albums and substantial touring with The Firm, Franklin subsequently performed with Blue Murder (John Sykes, Carmine Appice), David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Whitesnake, Roy Harper, Pat Travers, Tony McAlpine, Gary Hoey, Donna Lewis, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Italian superstars Vasco Rossi and Eros Ramazzotti and many others. An in-demand session bass ace, he has appeared on hundreds of albums. In January 2006, Fender proudly introduced the Tony Franklin Signature Model Fretless Precision Bass guitar, a replica of the instrument Franklin has used throughout his career. In it's 14th year of production, Fender introduced a new color, Lake Placid Blue to the line in January 2020. 2006 also saw the Sony release of Tony Franklin: Not Just Another Pretty Bass, Franklin’s first sample loop library. In 2011, Franklin joined Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band, and toured extensively throughout the world. Franklin can be heard on Shepherd’s album, “Goin’ Home”, released in Summer 2014. 2015 saw Franklin recording and touring with Heart Of Storm, live Rock Ballet - with world class Russian ballet, and live rock band featuring Doug Aldrich, Gregg Bissonette, Derek Sherinian, Brent Woods and Brandon Fields. A Live DVD was shot at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. Franklin closed the summer of 2015 touring with Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band opening for Van Halen, culminating in two shows at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. 2016 brought further touring with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, numerous recording sessions, and saw Franklin as a Rock Star Counselor at Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp, alongside Zakk Wylde, Warren Haynes, Steve Vai, Ginger Bakerof Cream and David Crosby. As of March 2020, Franklin has appeared at thirteen Rock Camps, alongside members of Deep Purple, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, REO Speedwagon, Jon Anderson of Yes, Judas Priest, Alice In Chains, Van Halen, Paul Stanley of KISS and Cheap Trick - where Franklin was enlisted as Musical Director, arranger and conductor for the band's performance of The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album. Franklin is also a featured artist in the upcoming Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp documentary, set for Summer 2020 release. In 2017, Franklin toured Japan extensively with Japanese superstar Eikichi Yazawa, culminating in 5 nights at the Budokan, the legendary Tokyo venue. Summer 2018 brought the release of Franklin’s Fretless Bass Instructional Course through TrueFire. Autumn 2018 saw Franklin fronting his own band in Europe playing material from his extensive career including music from The Firm, Whitesnake, Blue Murder and Pink Floyd. In the summer of 2019, Franklin toured with Jason Bonham and his Led Zeppelin Evening show, opening for Peter Frampton on his Farewell Tour. Franklin also played numerous shows with Raiding The Rock Vault, the awarding winning Las Vegas music show, including dates in London on their maiden voyage to the U.K. With a bass solo album nearing completion, Master Classes, counseling, constant writing, touring and recording, Franklin says: “I’ve only just begun!”
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