Groovin' Wes (2009, Strong Brew Music), a Wes Montgomery tribute project and the fourth album from Jazz guitarist Terrence Brewer, debuted March 2nd on the JazzWeek national radio chart at #18 and quickly began to climb, settling into the Top 10 a few weeks later. Philip Van Vleck, writing for Billboard, states "(Brewer's) guitar work is fluent, and his feel for the groove is unerring..." Bill Milkowski, writing for JazzTimes proclaims, "(Brewer is) A melodic improviser with an exquisite tone and an abundance of soul...", and the Philadelphia Daily News gave Groovin' Wes an "A". The accolades for Groovin' Wes come on the heels of receiving both regional and national acclaim for Brewer's all original albums, The Calling: Volume One and Volume Two (2006, Strong Brew Music) and QuintEssential (2008, Strong Brew Music), which spent 12 weeks on the JazzWeek charts peaking at #17.
Along with media and chart success, and playing to sold out crowds at the world famous Yoshi's at Jack London Square, Yoshi's San Francisco, Jazz At Pearl's, and countless other venues, Brewer was honored with an invitation to perform at the 52nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. In addition to the Monterey Jazz Festival, Brewer played to standing ovations at the Russian River Jazz Festival, SFJazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, and many others. In addition to headlining his own shows, Brewer has worked with vocalist/pianist Diana Krall, Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers), Mary Wilson (The Supremes), Gerald Albright, Dr. Anthony Brown, Pete Escovedo, Dave Ellis, Calvin Keyes, and has studied with the likes of Charlie Hunter, Duck Baker, Tom Patitucci, Mark Levine, and others.
When Brewer is not touring regionally and nationally, he finds time to instruct master classes, clinics, and lectures for the likes of Stanford Jazz Workshop and SFJAZZ, presenting at colleges, high schools, and middles schools throughout California.
With overwhelming regional support, Brewer establishes himself as a busy (over 2000 shows in the past seven years) award-winning artist including SF Weekly Music Award for Best Jazz Artist, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Artist of the Year and the Bay Area Blues Society "Best Jazz Group" Award, with more to come!
Born August 3, 1975 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Terrence DeRaun Brewer moved at the age of eight to Pittsburg, California, returning to his father's hometown where he received his first opportunity to study music. In fourth grade, Brewer began playing recorder, an instrument belonging to the flute family. It was that experience along with seeing the local middle and high school bands perform that increased Brewer's desire to play a traditional instrument, which he did during his transition to middle school. While attending Central Middle School, Brewer played the entire woodwind family (flute, clarinet, and eventually saxophone) in both the symphonic and jazz bands contributing to the band winning several awards at regional and state music festivals. In 1989, Brewer entered Pittsburg High School (PHS), known for it's longstanding reputation as a formidable music school with intense music and creative arts programs. At PHS Brewer played in the symphonic, jazz and marching bands, as well as jazz and symphonic small groups. In addition to winning several regional and state awards with the school's bands and small groups, Brewer held the role of marching band drum major and participated in several all-school drama performances, and presided as president of the schools Performing Arts Club. At the age of fifteen, Brewer knew he wanted to be a professional musician; so, upon graduating high school in 1993, he continued his musical education at Los Medanos College (LMC), also in Pittsburg, CA. It was while studying at LMC that Brewer transitioned from a woodwind performance major to a guitar performance major studying classical and jazz guitar performance. Brewer finished his Associate Arts degree at LMC in 1997. While at Los Medanos he studied with famed Bay Area guitarist Mike Williams, New York jazz maestro Mike Zilber, and acclaimed classical guitarist Tom Pattitucci. After leaving Los Medanos, Brewer continued his musical education by studying with the likes of Charlie Hunter, Duck Baker, and Mark Levine.
Brewer has an extensive resume when it comes to jazz education. He has participated in various workshops and performances hosted by Stanford Jazz Workshop. SFJAZZ also called upon Brewer to lecture and perform as a part of their popular and prestigious "Discover Jazz" lecture series. Brewer's lecture for SFJAZZ focused on "Bebop and Beyond – Guitar greats Herb Ellis, Kenny Burrell, and Barney Kessel speak the language of bebop". Brewer also taught workshops, master classes, and given lectures for Santa Rosa Junior College, Los Medanos Community College, Albany High School (Career day Lecture series and Job Shadowing program), Pittsburg High School, KIPP (Knowledge Is Power) Charter school, Prospect Sierra Middle School, Martin Luther King Middle School, Rockridge Montessori, and many others.
With years of music education under his belt, Brewer firmly established himself in the Bay area music scene, leading his own groups in nearly 2000 shows throughout California in the last years 7 years. His list of performances at fine venues and with even finer musicians is impressive. He's entertained sold out crowds while headlining shows at the world famous Yoshi's at Jack London Square, The Berkeley Jazz School, Anna's Jazz Island, Jazz at Pearl's and received standing ovations at the Jazz on the River, SFJazz Festival Summerfest Concert Series, Sonoma Jazz, Fillmore Jazz, Montclair Jazz, and the Marin Jazz Festivals and will soon play at the world famous Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2009. Brewer notes performances to his credit at Mountain Winery (with Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers), Herbst Theater (Shawn Ryan), Yoshi's San Francisco and the Smithsonian Archivists Convention (Dr. Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra), The Rrazz Room (Melba Moore, Darlene Love), and the Plush Room (Mary Wilson of The Supremes). He's also had the honor of performing with legendary artists such as Gerald Albright, , Pete Escovedo, Babatunde Lea, Kim Nalley, Dave Ellis, Calvin Keyes, Bruce Forman, Scott Amendola, Tuck and Patti, Khalil Shaheed, Ed Kelly, Herb Gibson, and many others.
In addition to major performances, Brewer can also be found playing established gigs at Butterfly, Eastside West and Cafe Claude in SF and is a featured regular at Jupiter in Berkeley. He also performs at private events for Google, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland, Oakland Children's Hospital, KKSF (103.7), Wente Vineyards, Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation, Swarm Art Gallery, CCA (California College of the Arts), UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Mario Chiodo Studios, and headlines community events such as the City of Alameda's Earth Day and Run for the Parks events, Oakland Metropolitan, San Leandro, Alameda, Tracy, and Oakland African American Chambers of Commerce events, and performances at Oakland and Alameda Rotary luncheons. Brewer has also been spotted on regional and national television, including San Francisco's CBS affiliate KPIX CBS 5, WB 20 "Early Edition" News show, and two appearances on ABC affiliate KGO-TV 7's nationally syndicated "View From the Bay". Various media outlets have helped pave the way for Brewer's Bay area and national marketing success, with KPIX CBS 5 anchor Lisa Chan referring to Brewer as "...the Bay area's newest rising star!" during his televised interview on the CBS morning news.
Brewer has also performed and interviewed with radio stations across the country including KCSM-FM 91.1 and KPOO-FM 89.9 in San Francisco, KPFA-FM 94.1 in Berkeley, WGLT–89.1 in Chicago, WMNF–FM 88.5 in Tampa, KUNV–FM 91.5 in Las Vegas, and WSHA–FM 88.9 Raleigh name just a few.
Even with devoting such a large amount of time to teaching, performing, and media appearances, Brewer found the time to launch his own record label and publishing company, Strong Brew Music (SBM) in 2005 and in 2006 released his first two albums simultaneously on SBM, The Calling: Volume One and Volume Two. With their release, Brewer garnered a tremendous amount of media attention and recognition. In June of 2006, long time Oakland Tribune columnist Brenda Payton wrote, "Brewer has a distinctive guitar sound and his compositions are rooted in classical jazz standards with a fresh voice. The horizon belongs to him and we are sure to hear more." Writing for the Contra Costa Times (May 2006) consummate Jazz and Cultural Arts writer Andy Gilbert proclaimed, "Over the past decade, Brewer has established himself as an accomplished improviser with an exquisite tone... His sound is marked by a balance and maturity more often found in much older players. [Brewer's] graceful, well-constructed solos flow thematically out of his compositions, rather than turning his tunes into mere launching pads for displays of technique." Dan King of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, "(Brewer) is one of the reasons the Bay area Jazz scene looks promising...". "Brewer has a natural, inviting sound that instantly transports you back to the heyday of classic jazz guitar..." writes David Rubien (San Francisco Chronicle feature on Brewer March 20, 2007). Brewer's playing has been hailed as, "powerful", "smooth", "beautiful", "mature", and "graceful" and The Calling: Volume One and Volume Two albums have been referred to as, "seductive", "sensuous", and "gorgeous". The San Francisco Chronicle included Brewer in a short list of "whom to stalk" in Bay Area jazz in 2007.
In 2008, Brewer followed up The Calling albums with QuintEssential, and all original quintet project recorded at the world famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley CA, which reached #17 on the national JazzWeek radio charts. In 2009, Brewer released Groovin' Wes, a Wes Montgomery tribute project, which received a variety of national acclaim including peaking on the national JazzWeek radio charts at #9.
It was noted by Charles L. Latimer of the I DIG JAZZ, Jazz Journal in March 2009 of Groovin' Wes "...if Montgomery was still alive and, had listened to 'Groovin' Wes', I guarantee he would've loved it, and appreciated the care (Brewer) employed honoring and perpetuating his music." Along with media praise Groovin' Wes received an "A" grade from the Philadelphia Daily News, and was in the top 10 of several national jazz charts including hitting #1 on the nationally syndicated radio show "Jazz with Bob Parlocha". "A melodic improviser with an exquisite tone and an abundance of soul, Brewer captures the free-swinging spirit of Wes on burning renditions of 'Speak Low' and 'Dearly Beloved,' as well as on funky interpretations of 'Bumpin' on Sunset' and 'Road Song.' His relaxed reading of 'In Your Own Sweet Way,'...is a treat" writes Bill Milkowski for JazzTimes Magazine.
With the support from his local communities, the press, his wide-reaching listening audience, and Brewer's passion for creation and innovation through improvisation, many more exciting things lay in store for Brewer and his fans--stay tuned!