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Brian Culbertson

Even though Brian Culbertson might be categorized as jazz lite, his music has enough "oomph" to keep you interested. The talented composer, arranger, keyboardist, and trombonist displayed a talent beyond his years at an early age, and credits his dad with helping him develop an ear for the type of music he makes. His father, Jim Culbertson, a respected high-school jazz band director and trumpeter, cultivated a love of sanguine sounds in the young Brian, who eagerly listened to anything his dad put on the stereo. Their Decatur, Illinois, home would be alive with the recorded sounds of Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, the Brecker Brothers, and David Sanborn. Growing up, Culbertson also listened to '70s R&B/pop/funk bands like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Tower of Power, and Earth, Wind & Fire. He began his musical training at the age of eight with piano lessons; at nine he moved to drums, at ten trombone, and at 12 bass. Bored with classical recital pieces, he began composing in junior high. By his freshman year in high school, he was experimenting with the then-new Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer and an old four-track recorder in the basement of his parents' home. His dedication earned him six individual and five group Down Beat student awards.

During his high-school years, he started getting into MIDI sequencing and synthesizers. He couldn't find players who were able to play his songs on the level he wanted, as most of his peers were into heavy metal, so Culbertson, who cites pop producer/songwriter David Foster (Earth, Wind & Fire's "After the Love Is Gone") as one of his strongest influences, learned how to play all the parts himself. After graduation, Culbertson headed to Chicago to begin studies in the music program at DePaul University. On campus, he began to run into high-level musicians and started playing in a band. A family friend helped Culbertson get a deal with Mesa/Blue Moon in 1994. In the bedroom of the apartment he shared with three college buddies, Culbertson recorded his debut album, Long Night Out, playing most of the instruments himself but also enlisting a small backing group. The album spent ten consecutive weeks in the Top Five of the adult contemporary charts. On his follow-up album, Modern Life, Culbertson eschewed the one-man band approach in favor of a live band made up of some of the best musicians in Chicago, plus stellar saxophonist Gerald Albright.

He put out several other albums in the '90s, including After Hours (1995), Secrets (1997), and Somethin' Bout Love (1999). Culbertson's productions include albums by Bob Mamet and Steve Cole. Having gotten into composing advertising jingles, Culbertson set his sights on soundtracks. In 2001 the pianist (who could play the trombone, trumpet, and percussion as well) released Nice & Slow, followed by Come on Up in 2003. Two years later he issued It's on Tonight, and in 2006 Soulful Christmas, a collection of holiday favorites as well as an original. In 2008 Culbertson released Bringing Back the Funk, an acclaimed album that is credited with bringing new life to the urban jazz genre. It featured a sizable list of collaborators including Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Ray Parker, Jr., and David T. Walker. He followed it with a live album in 2009 and XII, a return to the studio, in 2010. In June of 2012, Culbertson released Dreams, his 13th album, featuring a host of all-star contemporary jazz and R&B session players and vocalists. Later that year he set about realizing a dream project.

Now an independent artist, Culbertson had long desired to revisit the music from his 1994 debut offering, Long Night Out, initially cut in his apartment on a very limited budget. In 2013 he re-recorded the same tracks with a large all-star lineup that included Nathan East, Russ Freeman, Steve Lukather, and Candy Dulfer, to name a few, plus a 33-piece orchestra. Entitled Another Long Night Out, it was issued on his own BCM label in February of 2014. In 2016, Culbertson delivered the concert album Live: 20th Anniversary Tour, showcasing his band in concert at Yoshi's in San Francisco. ~ Ed Hogan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Another Long Night Out

1. City Lights

2. Fullerton Ave.

3. Beyond The Frontier

4. Heroes Of The Dawn

5. Beautiful Liar

6. Double Exposure

7. Twilight

8. Horizon

9. Alone With You

10. Long Night Out

11. Changing Tides

x

Track List: Bring Back The Funk

1. Funkin' Like My Father

2. Always Remember

3. Hollywood Swinging

4. The House Of Music

5. You Got To Funkifize

6. The Groove

8. Excuse Me... What's Your Name?

10. Let's Stay In Tonight

x

Track List: It's On Tonight

1. Let's Get Started

2. Hookin' Up

3. It's On Tonight

4. Sensuality

5. The Way You Feel

6. Forbidden Love

7. Dreaming Of You

8. Wear It Out

9. Secret Affair

10. Touch Me

11. Love Will Never Let You Down

12. Reflections

x

Track List: Come On Up

1. Intro

2. Say What? (feat. Steve Cole)

3. Midnight (feat. Marcus Miller & Steve Cole)

4. Playin'

5. Days Gone By

6. What Up B?

7. Serpentine Fire

8. Fly High (feat. Rahsaan Patterson)

9. Last Night (feat. Rick Braun)

10. Come On Up (feat. Norman Brown)

11. Our Love

12. Funky B

x

Track List: Nice & Slow

1. Just Another Day

2. Get It On

3. Nice & Slow

4. I Could Get Used To This

5. Without Your Love

6. Someone

7. Prelude

8. Together Tonight

9. All About You

10. I Wanna Know

11. Someone (Bouns Mix)

x

Track List: Dreams

2. Your Smile

4. Later Tonight

x

Track List: Skies Wide Open (Radio Single)

x

Track List: You're My Music (Single)

Comments

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A GENIUS, MUSIC FOR MY VERY SOUL. I LISTEN TO HIS MUSIC EVERYDAY.
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Loooooove his music! Music to/of my soul!!!
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Smooth jazz at its best
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gmattison389
I enjoy this artist. OMG Yes......
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I enjoy your music very beautiful and relaxing
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Sexy good!
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A Sound All ur Own... Unbelievably Talented, Moving the Depths of ones Soul!
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tydchilders
caught my ear immediately. . . . . i ' m in love!
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O M G ! !
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ashton.sinkf i e l d 0 7
I went to sleep because it IS so smooth
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shirleyruber g
Sounds great! very relaxing music to chill by.
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Amazing, love your style. Brian is the greatest.
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Love you're music
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Dreaming
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B Culbertson.. You r my music...❌⭕️
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Wow someone new to enjoy Love it!!!
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ruffinanital
Brian and Jonathon were great at Napa, can't wait to see Brian In Michigan
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ruffinanital
Brian is fantastic
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I love this song!
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Love me some Brian so smooth and sexy. Never miss a concert in my area
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I like what someone said, His music makes me smile inside. Love that feelin.
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Brian-You Are So Smoooooooooo o o o o o o o o o o o o t h !
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turkkimberly
Very nice.... I'm listening on Pandora...
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Real mellow!
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So Happy i will b going to c him in St. Louis Mo. on Oct. 19th damn i can't wait!!!!!!!!
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Brian makes me smile inside and out! Love his vibe!!!
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Brian is wonderful - his music speaks to the soul.
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This guy is soulful, excited his art and demonstrates the talent with superb results. One of my favorite.
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Saw him at Seabreeze Jazz Festival. He brought the house down!!
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ipraylude
So much Funk!
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kellis147
Turned out this weekend at the Jazz Fest!!
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Iove this tune
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The man is talented!
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I love this tune, awesome!
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SO looking forward to seeing him at the Jazz Fest in Md.....can't wait!
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daysj
Whhhoooaaa!! ?
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number one
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Cool jazz and smokin' hot musician!���
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Love this song and he is hot too!!
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kennybrew43
Brian music is strong yet smoothly heroically mannish. Great music like keeps you thinking. keep it up.
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odyssey2
Aw yeah...smoot h jazz...
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Sorry I was not being fair
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Brian,where have you been all my life? Your music is an unexpected pleasure in my life. Thank you.
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thedavedarav e
Love his stuff
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Sending My Love. Great song ty
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I like this song, very relaxing !!!!!
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Brian, the best music
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this man is good one of the BEST !
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...wish I had someone to 'Touch Me'...too sexy Brian!
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man Brian is one of my favorite artist. Love to hear him in person
Show more

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