By: Jesse Rosenberg
The University of Nevada, Reno’s 2023-2024 Performing Arts Series season continues with the acclaimed quintet, Butcher Brown – a group whose ethos is the antithesis of genre itself.
On Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m., Butcher Brown will take the stage of Nightingale Concert Hall, along with special accompaniment by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Music’s flagship large jazz ensemble, Lab I, directed by Josh Reed. Creating music out of an amalgamation of the impossible, Butcher Brown is undoubtedly the foremost purveyor of “solar music,” unifying every genre under the sun together in a deeply authentic way.
Butcher Brown is the result of each member’s collective wish to pay homage to the jazz-based funk that dominated the 1970s and the utmost desire to innovate; the quintet has an honest benevolence evident in their craft, creating space for any musical style to work in symbiosis. Their music resonates on such an undeniable sonic plane – no doubt due to the members that comprise it: drummer Corey Fonville, producer/multi-instrumentalist DJ Harrison, bassist/composer Andrew Randazzo, trumpeter/saxophonist/MC Marcus “Tennishu” Tenney, and guitarist Morgan Burrs.
Butcher Brown hails from Richmond, Virginia, where several members, all attending Virginia Commonwealth University’s jazz program, began to immerse themselves in the city’s rich music scene. Outside of classes and gigs, Harrison’s home studio – Jellowstone – became a place for the group to come together in appreciation and collaboration of the music they loved – spanning from the likes of D’Angelo to Joe Henderson.
Butcher Brown has an ability that a great majority of musicians struggle to put into words, let alone their music. They are the embodiment of your dad’s LP collection, familiar not by the genres they were stuffed under at the record store, but by the way they all told a greater narrative. The reluctance to assign a genre is better stated as an agreement to finally classify music as it should be – music that is pleasing to the ear and music that isn’t. Butcher Brown represents the former.
Prior to their performance on Oct. 12, a free and open-to-the-public Masterclass and Q&A session with Butcher Brown will take place Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4:00 p.m., in the University Foundation Arts Building, Room 144. No preregistration is required.
Butcher Brown individual tickets are $40 (Adult), $38 (Senior/University of Nevada, Reno Faculty and Staff), $16 (Youth), and $5 (University of Nevada, Reno students). Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office the night of the show (at the event venue one hour before the performance).