Brandon performs Wednesday April 18 at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick
NBJP: How old were you when you first played in front of an audience (beyond your family)?
BW: I was fourteen years old and performed “The Pink Panther” theme for a talent show at summer camp. Although I left the stage, I was told I got a standing ovation!
NBJP: What’s your favorite jazz tune?
BW: I’ve never been one to name a single favorite tune, but I love performing compositions by Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Cedar Walton, Benny Golson, and Chick Corea.
NBJP: You are a musician, is there another art in which you’d like to be accomplished?
BW: Lately, I’ve been exploring the craft of acting and Improv Comedy. There are a lot of parallels between the two, and although I’m not sure how far I want to take things as an actor, I’ve gained some valuable skills that have made me a a better person and musician.
NBJP: What’s your favorite non-musical pastime?
BW: Snowboarding is a huge passion of mine. Don’t worry, I wear a helmet and wrist guards.
NBJP: What’s the worst job you ever had?
BW: Probably the first job I ever had. I was fifteen and took a job making drink orders (non-alcoholic) at a local breakfast/lunch spot in Long Beach Island. Minimum wage was 5.25/hr back then, and my hours were so unpredictable. Although they made great pancakes, the place was poorly run.
NBJP: If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be?
BW I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world, and New York City is still the place I can’t wait to get back to. Maybe one day I’ll live a bicoastal life, but for now, I love where I live.
NBJP: Finish this sentence – I own too many
BW: …articles of clothing from Express.
PLUS ONE: When did you know that you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?
BW: When I was sixteen, my parents took me to hear my teacher, Walt Weiskopf, perform with his sextet at Smalls Jazz Club. It was the first time I heard jazz performed live and I thought what I heard was magic. I had no idea what they were doing, but I was determined from that day on I’d do my best to figure it out. I haven’t looked back since.