Rick Braun has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in this business. He has crafted his own distinctive sound and become a staple on contemporary jazz radio. He has produced No. 1 hits for David Benoit, Marc Antoine, and former Rod Stewart band sidekick, Jeff Golub. Braun achieved collaborative success on massive hits with Boney James, as a member of RnR with saxophonist Richard Elliot, and with BWB, a powerhouse trio completed by Grammy® winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. He has made a mark staying true to his own musical voice and eclectic influences that have allowed him to collaborate across genres with some of the biggest names in music, including Tina Turner, Tom Petty, Sade, Natalie Cole and REO Speedwagon.
Los Angeles-based saxophonist and composer Richard Elliot is widely considered one of the architects of urban contemporary jazz. After indulging his lifelong love of funk and R&B as a studio ace and spending five years as a member or Tower of Power, Elliot and his fat, reedy tone began braiding soul, funk, and hip-hop grooves with smooth jazz on his albums including 1986’s Trolltown. After signing to Blue Note in 1989, he issued a host of charting albums for the label including 1992’s On the Town, and 1997’s Jumpin’ Off. Elliot’s records helped to define the contemporary jazz radio format. During that period he also helped launch the annual franchised Guitars & Saxes tours. He continued developing his own accessible sound into the 21st century on two charting outings for GRP including 2001’s Crush and 2003’s Ricochet. 2005’s Metro Blue spent 42 weeks on the charts and peaked at number two, while his album with Trumpeter, Rick Braun on 2007’s RnR spent 47 weeks on the charts and peaked in the top slot on the Top 200. He was among the saxists (who also included Gerald Albright and Mindi Abair) to appear on Dave Koz and Friends‘ number one Summer Horns (it remained on the charts for more than eight months). Elliot followed with his own chart-topping, jazz-funk outing Summer Madness in 2016. He joined Koz and crew again for Summer Horns II: From A to Z and returned to solo work on 2021’s funky Authentic Life.