Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lyrics to "Joseph Brazil"

I wrote lyrics to the first track on A Cup of Joe Brazil even though they were not recorded.

"Joseph Brazil, black music will show us to live and to love, not to kill.
Joseph Brazil, teaches us still - look for the truth and the search is the thrill.
No one stops you. No one tops you.
Joseph Brazil, black music will lift us to equal the king of the hill."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Joe's Heirs

Unfortunately, Joe Brazil had no biological children. His first and second wives both had children from other relationships.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Joe Interviews His Father

Joe taped an interview with his father, Hilliard. Hilliard tells the story of becoming a photographer in rural Georgia during the early 1900s. The self-taught and entrepreneurial approach was a precursor of Joe's path in life.

Joe Taped Everything

Joe taped phone calls, classes, TV shows, etc. A tape labeled "Joe and Frankie" from 1977 contains an argument with his first wife. It provides an intimate window into Joe's personal life which suggests why Joe moved out and married another woman.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Press Release for "The Secret Life of John Chapman"

I have recently acquired an original press release from CBS that lists the cast of "The Secret Life of John Chapman." Joe Brazil plays the role of Boss.

Reggie Workman on Joe Brazil

During a panel discussion of A Love Supreme hosted by Bill T. Jones, bassist Reggie Workman told a story about Joe Brazil bringing a car full of books to a meeting on Black Culture. I plan to share more of this story soon. In the picture are (left to right) Bill T. Jones, Ashley Kahn, John Lewis, Reggie Workman. Photo by Yasuhiro Fujioka.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Free concert in Blanche Lavizzo Park

One day after Joe Brazil's 90th birthday we will celebrate with a free presentation of A Cup of Joe Brazil at 1pm August 26 in the Blanche Lavizzo Park amphitheater (2100 S. Jackson). The performance is sponsored by the Office of Arts & Culture Arts in the Parks Program.

Friday, November 25, 2016

CD Release 7:30 December 5 at the Royal Room

A Cup of Joe Brazil will be released 7:30 December 5 at the Royal Room (5000 Rainier Ave S, Seattle). Tickets available at The CD was recorded and mixed by Doug Haire at Jack Straw and mastered by Rick Fisher at Resonant Mastering.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Black Spokane

Dwayne Mack wrote about the black community in Spokane and the impact of soldiers at Geiger Air Field where Joe Brazil served.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Detroit was a university without walls

"I had a rich environment, it was like a university without walls, I have to say that and we all looked and there are guys you don’t even know about who were there that we played with and were helping each other and teaching us. It was just a great exchange. It was all about the music and reaching for that level of being really good. So we had a lot of discussions about material, about songs, and I think we developed some pretty sophisticated taste, in terms of what’s good and what isn’t and how to discern the good from the mediocre. And all of that is learning, especially when you’re a teenager is invaluable. So like I say, it was like a university. So when we got to New York we really felt like we were prepared." - Kenny Burrell, Smithsonian Jazz Oral History

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sonny Red

Anders Svanoe published research of Sonny Red in The Annual Review of Jazz Studies in 2007. Like Sonny, Joe's family moved to Detroit from the south. Anders conducted many interviews with Detroit musicians. Below are mentions of Joe Brazil from Anders' research.

"I remember seeing Red a few times down at Joe Brazil's. I first started to play drums by going down to Joe Brazil's. The way I got there was Doug Watkins, the bass player, pulled me over there since Doug and I went to the same high school. Anyway, he was telling me to go sit  in, and I told him that I wasn't ready yet. But he told me to come on  by there anyway. So I went there and sat in with Barry on piano, Joe Brazil [on alto saxophone], Donald Byrd [on trumpet], and Doug Watkins on bass. They played a tempo, extremely fast, and somehow or another I kept that tempo, and that's what opened the door for me. They said that the next time they were going to give me a call, and they did." - Frank Gant

"Joe Brazil was important on the scene and a good friend of Coltrane's. That was perfect for Trane. This was a place, just free to him, to play as long as he wanted to." - Tommy Flanagan

"I remember one session that we did at Joe Brazil's place. We did a lot of jam sessions down there. Sonny was there and sometimes Barry, Ko-Ko [Kenneth "Cokie" Winfrey], the tenor player, used to live down at Joe's place, so he'd always be there for the sessions. That was around 1955 or 1956. I lived right down the street, so I was there a lot." - Kiane Zawadi

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Joe Brazil's Possessions

Joe and Frances married on March 24, 1963 but separated during the 1980's. According to King County Property Tax records, Joe gave the house to Frances on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1985 in a settlement. Joe took all of his possessions except for the baby grand piano that he had moved from Detroit. They were officially divorced on September 24, 2002.

Joe married Virginia on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2003. They had first met in the 1970's when Joe was teaching inmates at the Black Academy of Music and Virginia was a social worker working with prisoners.

Virginia was the person who took Joe to the hospital when, on his birthday, he had his first heart attack in 2001. Joe died in the living room of her home in 2008. In addition to inheriting all of his papers, records, recordings, equipment, and musical instruments, she also inherited his debts. Virginia was the person who organized his home going celebration.