June 20, 2024

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Brad Clements and his trumpet have traveled the globe, from South America, to Europe, to Japan: Video

20.07. – Happy Birthday !!! As a professional musician, Brad Clements and his trumpet have traveled the globe, from South America, to Europe, to Japan.

Starting in 1999, he spent 14 years performing and recording with D.C.’s legendary “Godfather of Go-Go,” Chuck Brown until Brown’s death in 2012. In 2003 he toured Europe with the Thievery Corporation, an eclectic world music group that arose from D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge. In 2011, he again toured South America with the group, and he has played on several of their recordings on the Eighteenth Street Lounge Music label. With the Thievery Corporation, Clements performed on Conan O’Brien’s The Late Show. Most recently, Clements has been performing with the Chuck Brown band, which features former members of Chuck Brown’s final band. He has an extensive discography of recordings on which he has performed.

Clements has also produced two of his own albums on the Lundy’s Lounge Music label, For the Love of You (2002) and Liquid Lounge (2005). Writing in Soul Express (online), Barry Towler compares Clements to well-known trumpet stalwarts Herb Alpert (of the Tijuana Brass), Pharez Whitted, and Rick Braun, calling the tunes on the album “gritty [and] funky,” with appeal to fans of jazz fusion. The major artists with whom he has performed besides those mentioned above include “The Purple One” Prince (2011), George Duke, Eric Benet, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi. Boney James, and The Four Kings of Rhythm & Blues (Lloyd Price, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Ben E. King).

Clements names Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and Wynton Marsalis as jazz influences, and in the realm of popular music, great song writers like Prince, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Annie Lenox, and Jill Scott. He also gives credit to trombonist Greg Boyer as a major influence over his approach to playing music. Whether it’s go-go, R&B, funk, hip-hop, Brazilian, salsa, or jazz, Clements is up to the job.

However, not only is he a busy performer, but Clements, son of two teachers, is also a music educator: in 2005, he started B&B Music Lessons with bassist Bhagwan Khalsa, whom he met in the early 1990s on a Hawaiian cruise where they were both performing. B&B Music Lessons provides in-home music lessons on a full range of instruments. Their mission statement is “to make the world a better place through music, one lesson at a time.”

Born and raised in the D.C. area, Clements began playing trumpet in elementary school, first studying classical before moving into popular genres. Clements’ parents taught him a logical and down-to-earth approach to life and a strong work ethic. From his grandparents, who owned and operated restaurant and real-estate businesses, he inherited his business acumen and his drive to

succeed. Through childhood and youth he kept busy with a variety of jobs – lawn mower, kite salesman, broiler cook, roofer. He completed two years at North Carolina’s Elon College from 1986 to 1988 before leaving to develop his musical career, which began when he joined the R&B group Junior Cline and the Recliners. Besides music, Clements’ other interests include macro-economics, geo-politics, financial history, and the vagaries of the U.S. dollar. Clements’ favorite quotes: “Whatever you do, big or small, do it well or don’t do it at all”. And “When all is said and done, I want more done than said”.

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