Brian Culbertson

Brian Culbertson

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Brian Culbertson
Background = khaki

Img_size =
Img_capt =
Landscape= yes
Birth_name =
Born = Birth date and age|1973|1|12|mf=y
Height =
Origin = Decatur, Illinois,
United States
Genre = Smooth jazz
Occupation = musician, instrumentalist
Years_active = 1994–present
Instrument = Keyboards Trombone
Label =
Associated_acts =
Spouse(s) =

Brian Culbertson (born January 12, 1973) is a smooth jazz musician and instrumentalist from Decatur, Illinois, United States. Son of jazz band director and trumpeter Jim Culbertson, Brian's instruments include the keyboard and trombone.

Heavily influenced by funk, much of Culbertson's material is funk-based instrumental, but began calling upon vocalists such as Trey Lorenz, Marc Nelson and Kenny Lattimore to add to his latter pieces.

Culbertson has released eight albums so far. The first three were on the Blue Moon label: "Long Night Out" 1994, "Modern Life" 1995, and "After Hours" 1996. After moving to the Atlantic Records, three more albums followed: "Secrets" 1997, "Somethin' Bout Love" 1999, and the critically acclaimed "Nice & Slow" 2001. "Come on Up" 2003 was released on Warner Jazz, and Culbertson then moved to GRP Records for his project, "It's On Tonight" 2005 which debuted at #1 on Billboard Magazine's contemporary-jazz charts.

Brian Culbertson also works with many other musicians in the smooth jazz arena, often as a composer and arranger. Culbertson is currently credited with working with Dave Koz, Peter White, Richard Elliot, Jeff Lorber, Michael Lington and legendary A&M Records composer and producer, Herb Alpert to name but a few. He is married to Michelle Culbertson.


"Long Night Out"1994Mesa / Bluemoon
"Modern Life"1995Mesa / Bluemoon
"After Hours"1996Mesa / Bluemoon
"Secrets"1997Mesa / Bluemoon
"Somethin' Bout Love"1999Atlantic / Wea
"Nice & Slow"2001Warner Bros / Wea
"Come On Up"2003Warner Bros / Wea
"It's On Tonight"2005GRP Records
"A Soulful Christmas"2006GRP Records
"Bringing Back The Funk"2008GRP Records

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Profile on GRP Records]

Brian Culbertson – ‘Bringing Back The Funk’Album review by Mike ParlettBorn in Decatur Illinois in 1973 now based in Los Angeles California, keyboardist, tromboneplayer, drummer, bassist and producer Brian Culbertson has always been the youthful and jovialfresh face of the smooth Jazz scene.Over the past number of years Brian has earned his stripes as a pioneer in the field of goodtimefunky cool jazz. His total live performance experience, regular cavorting and jumping around thestage at his concerts with trombone in hand, grins, funny faces and poses with incredible playingfrom behind the Roland keyboard from where he stands show him as the true all round visualand musical artist as well as an entertainer.Whenever I have attended any of the shows, I have always been immediately impressed with notonly the musical talent Brian manages to surround himself but also the sheer joy everyoneappears to be having on stage while playing the music. The shows are highly entertaining,always packed and are totally suitable for anyone of any age or musical persuasion.Brian is definitely a jazz musician that does not take himself too seriously but seeks to make hismusic as accessible to the general pubic as possible. He has worked alongside some highlyrespected names in smooth Jazz including Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot,Marcus Miller, Patti Austin, and Bob James to mention only a very few.‘Bringing Back The Funk’ is a step in a slightly new direction for Brian in musical content,performance and presentation. The album is a collection of some classic and lesser-known funkanthems from across the last couple of decades along with some inspired original material. Likeit says in the title, the music is very much in keeping with the established school of funk with suchveterans as Bootsy Collins of Parliament, one of the undisputed originators of funk from the 70s,Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White taking his place as co-producer, Larry Dunn and SheldonReynolds along with many others.The intention of this work was to step away from the highly programmed and produced offeringsof the current day and take the music back to its organic funk roots.The album took only 5 days to record and under 3 months to fully complete and mix theproduction. Most unusual for the expected time required to find drum loops samples and beatsso prevalent in today’s output from the industry!Brian informed me in my interview with him on my show on Solar Radio that the connectionwith Maurice White came from Sheldon Reynolds, ex-Earth, Wind & Fire and now the leadguitarist/singer of Brian's band, the Funk Experience. Sheldon gave him the contact toco-produce. Maurice was so inspired by the proposed project that he offered to become theexecutive producer for the whole album lending his authentic credibility to the work.With Messrs White and Dunn on board it was very easy to make the connections with all the‘A-list’ funk and Jazz gurus and legends. Brain said to me “All I had to do was call people on mywish list and say I’m making a funk record with Maurice White to which they replied, ‘OK, whereand when?’”You can really hear Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Parliament and classic 70s/80s rawfunk band influences throughout the album.All tracks include stars both new and old featuring such names as Gerald Albright on a cool funkyslightly slower reworking of Kool and the Gang’s ‘Hollywood Swinging’ with amazing pastiche ofa Maceo Parker alto sax solo, bass playing from Culbertson himself and quality lead vocals fromMusiq Soulchild.Bootsy Collins is placed up front singing and rapping on the first track ‘Funkin’ Like My Father’,an inspired original written by Collins, Reynolds and Brian.Other singing talents include the incredible Ledisi on a charming interpretation of a lesser-knownBill Withers track ‘The World Keeps Going Around’ originally from ‘Live at Carnegie Hall’ albumwith an interesting and ingenious twist in the arrangement. Included in this version is a full andwell-written brass arrangement. In fact every track on the album has a full horn section. Thepersonnel in the horn section on the album boast such names as Gerald Albright, Tom Scott, EricMarienthal, Lee Thornberg, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and of course Brian himself in the lineup playing trombone. Arrangements by Greg Adams of Tower of Power make for some authenticpowerful sounds from the brass.Larry Graham is featured on bass on ‘The House of Music’ recorded in Minneapolis. The songwas conceived by Brian and Larry singing parts on the phone to each other and finally Brianflying over to record the song with a band. The track is a mid tempo bluesy original featuring thelegendary Ronnie Laws on tenor saxophone.There are also the usual groovy smooth jazz styled tracks for which Brian is known and loved.Examples include ‘Always Remember’ with piano lead and a rather natty Tower of Power craftedbreak down in the middle, Jam track ‘Excuse Me…What’s Your Name? with Brian taking the leadmelody on trombone with a synth doubling, and the final track ‘Let’s Stay In Tonight’ with someinteresting harmonic content and infectious vocal hook from the Take 6/Earth, Wind & Firereferenced chorus.‘You Got To Funkifize’ is a faithful cover of the original Tower of Power with some wonderfulbaritone sax from Tom Scott and rip roaring lead vocals from Chance Howard all topped off witha tasty ‘bone’ solo from Culbertson. The track breaks out into a gospel styled shout at the end. Iwas up and clapping, I was sure I was in church!Some other names of great musicians and singers included in the line up are such names as thegreat Paul Jackson Jr, Lenny Castro, Ricky Peterson, Ray Parker Jr., Tony Maiden, BobbyWatson, Ice Candi, The Peri Sisters, Sam Sims, and Oscar Seaton.In my opinion Brian Culbertson’s ‘Bringing Back The Funk’ is a refreshing, well balancedauthentic and innovative work which sets out to unashamedly do what it says on the packet!Well worth a listen.Mike ParlettRadio HostSolar Radio

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