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Biography

Brandon, a proud Chicago native, is embarking on his freshman year at Northwestern University, passionately pursuing a degree in Jazz Studies. In his high school years, he showcased his exceptional musical talent as a percussionist in the Wind Symphony, earning the distinguished honor of being selected for the 2021 Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Band. Not limiting himself to one instrument, Brandon also displayed his dexterity on the piano as a key contributor to the school's jazz band. 

 

Brandon's musical excellence was recognized in his senior year with the 2023 John Philip Sousa Band Award. Furthermore, he was acclaimed as an outstanding piano soloist in both the high school Big Band and Combos at the 2023 Jazz in the Chi Regional Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Festival. 

 

Brandon's rhythmic journey commenced in 2013 when he first delved into drum-set lessons at Chicago's Flatts & Sharpe Music Company. Here, he honed his percussion skills and gained invaluable stage experience, participating in bi-annual youth rock shows.

 

In 2017, Brandon's musical prowess took him to new heights as he joined the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra's Debut Orchestra as a percussionist. His dedication and talent propelled him to the Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019, and for the years spanning 2020 to 2022, he was a vital member of CYSO's top orchestra.

 

But Brandon's passion extended far beyond the classical realm. By 2019, he had fully immersed himself in the world of jazz. That year, he secured the coveted drummer's position in the Merit School of Music's top combo, a testament to his burgeoning talent and dedication. His commitment to jazz continued as he joined the CYSO Jazz Orchestra and became a Ravinia Jazz Scholar in the same year.

 

Not content with just performing, Brandon also ventured into the world of musical education. He spent two years as a percussion fellow with the inaugural cohort of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, sharing his knowledge and passion with aspiring musicians.

 

During the pandemic, Brandon seized the opportunity to broaden his musical horizons by teaching himself to play the piano. His dedication and perseverance culminated in being named the co-recipient of the 2020 Jazz Institute of Chicago's prestigious Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award. He also was offered a spot in the 2022 National Association for Music Education All National Honors Ensemble Jazz Band.

 

In addition to his musical pursuits, Brandon was an active member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Jazz Links Student Council from 2021 to 2023, further showcasing his commitment to the local jazz community.

 

Brandon's musical odyssey is a testament to his talent, dedication, and unyielding passion for the art of jazz.

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