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Educator, Conductor, Composer, Bandleader, Scholar  
 
 

About Anthony Branker


Origin Recording Artist Anthony Branker named in Down Beat magazine's 62nd Annual Critics Poll as #8 Rising Star Composer!!


Composer Anthony Branker Wins Two Global Music Awards!!
Silver Medal: The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite, Album
Bronze Medal: The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite, Composition



"Anthony Branker is crafting some of today’s finest compositions"

All About Jazz


"Composer/arranger/trumpeter/mentor Anthony Branker is one of those gurus who, although he has appeared in the spotlight as a leader or co-collaborator with various big names, has made his most lasting mark as an educator and composer…(he) has proven to be an inspiration to many known and unknown musicians ...Bravo, Mr. Branker, may you continue to create and inspire."

One Final Note: Jazz & Improvised Music


"Branker's music relies on a strong rhythmic foundation, with Afro-Cuban inspired grooves and solo sections over energetic vamps...With a unique combination of depth and accessibility, Branker is able to put forth a a jazz perspective steeped in soulful optimism."

All About Jazz

 

Featured Articles

Dr. Branker's Master Class column "Modal Approaches to Jazz Composition" featured in Down Beat's October 2013 issue

In a jazz composition master class for Down Beat, the international magazine for Jazz, Blues & Beyond, Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker shares some of the advantages of exploring the rich and unique sound palette associated with the modal harmonic language. Dr. Branker's latest CD release on Origin Records is titled Uppity with his ensemble Anthony Branker & Word Play performing a program of his original compositions



Improvisation Course Takes Students Out
of Their Musical 'Comfort Zone'

In the new course "The Improvising Ensemble," taught by Dr. Anthony Branker, students with performance experience across a range of genres from jazz to classical to world music are exploring improvisational techniques



 


ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Anthony Branker: Jazz Dialogics"

Interview with composer Anthony Branker


Photograph by Denise Applewhite




 JAZZ INSIDE magazine
"What's Really Going On In Jazz Education?"

Interview with Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker

 

 

 

 




Jazzman
Musician and teacher Anthony Branker

music professor and the force
behind Princeton’s jazz program.



Photograph by Frank Wojciechowski

 



Upcoming Events


Prof Branker


Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker Celebrates His
25th Anniversary Leading the Jazz Program at Princeton University in 2013-2014!!


Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker plus The Respect Sextet featuring trumpeter and university jazz program graduate Eli Asher Saturday, May 10, 2014, 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


July 2014 release of The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite CD by Anthony Branker & Word Play on Origin Records featuring alto saxophonist David Binney, tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, trombonist Conrad Herwig, pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Donald Edwards, conguero Renato Thoms, and vocalist Alison Crockett spotlighting a 12-movement extended composition by Dr. Branker


Dr. Anthony Branker
presents paper at the 31st World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 20-25, 2014



Dr. Branker serves as symposium panelist with
Ed Sarath (University of Michigan) and Kathleen Camara (Tufts University) at the
31st World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 20-25, 2014


Recent Projects
 



Princeton University Jazz Vocal Collective & Crossing Borders Improvisational Music Ensemble, coached by Dr. Branker to perform on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 8:00 pm,
8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall


The 3rd Annual Columbia/Princeton Jazz Summit featuring the Columbia University Jazz Program, Dr. Chris Washburne and the Princeton University Jazz Composers Project, Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker plus the Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble conducted by Dr. Branker with guest soloist, trumpeter Valery Ponomarev performing music from the Valery Ponomarev Big Band “Our Father Who Art Blakey” Saturday, March 1, 2014, 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


Princeton University Jazz Faculty Recital "Composing in the Moment" with tenor & soprano saxophonist Ralph Bowen, guitarist Bruce Arnold, pianist Michael Cochrane, bassist Brian Glassman, drummer Vince Ector, and musical director Dr. Anthony Branker, Saturday, February 22, 2014, 8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


Dr. Branker to lead the Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble during Tour to Italy, including performances in Rome, Florence and Milan!! January 25-February 1, 2014


Anthony Branker & Word Play featuring alto saxophonist David Binney, tenor & soprano saxophonist Ralph Bowen, trombonist Conrad Herwig, pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Donald Edwards, conguero Renato Thoms, and vocalist Alison Crockett present pre-recording session concert performance of a new suite by composer Anthony Branker for his upcoming Forward CD project for Origin Records on Sunday, December 15, 2013, 3:00 pm, Solley Theatre, Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Arts Council of Princeton (102 Witherspoon Street), Princeton, New Jersey - FREE ADMISSION Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


Princeton University Orchestra, conducted by Michael Pratt and the Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker to perform “Teatro di Strada,” a commissioned work by composer David Sanford written for the University Orchestra and University Concert Jazz Ensemble featuring saxophonist Ralph Bowen, plus Dr. Branker’s “Ballad for Trayvon Martin” for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet featuring Ralph Bowen, Thursday, December 5 and Friday, December 6, 2013, 7:30 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall Co-ponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies and the Princeton University Orchestra


The Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker plus the David Binney Quartet featuring alto saxophonist/composer David Binney, pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Eivind Opsvik, and drummer Dan Weiss, Saturday, November 23, 2013, 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


Dr. Branker leads Princeton University Jazz Vocal Collective & Crossing Borders Improvisational Music Ensemble, in performance on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 7:30 pm at the Solley Theatre, Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Arts Council of Princeton (102 Witherspoon Street), Princeton, New Jersey - FREE ADMISSION Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


Grammy-Award winning trumpeter Freddie Hendrix performs with the Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Anthony D.J. Brankerplus The Freddie Hendrix Septet featuring alto saxophonist Bruce Williams, tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton, trombonist David Gibson, pianist Brandon McCune, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Cecil Brooks IIIon Saturday, October 12, 2013, 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall Sponsored by the Program in Jazz Studies


Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Anthony Branker & University Jazz Vocal Collective, directed by Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin & Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker present "Music for Everyone: A Cornucopia of Songs" featuring the Music of Jim McNeely, Renee Rosnes, Bob Brookmeyer, Lyle Mays, Van Morrison, Jaak Sooäär, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Billy Strayhorn, and others, Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


Concert for Dr. Branker's course Music 321: The Improvising Ensemble with The Respect Sextet, April 29, 2013, 8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall



2nd Annual Columbia/Princeton Jazz Summit featuring the Princeton University Free to Be Ensemble, Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker, director and the Jazz Programs from Columbia University, Dr. Chris Washburne, director with jazz ensembles led by Don Sickler, Ben Waltzer, and Ole Matthisen on Saturday, April 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm, Miller Theater, Broadway and 116th Street, New York



Concert for Dr. Branker's course Music 321: The Improvising Ensemble with Estonia's Free Tallinn Trio featuring vocalist Anne-Liis Poll, guitarist Jaak Sooaar, and pianist Anto Pett, March 28, 2013, 8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall


March 19, 2013 release of Uppity CD by Anthony Branker & Word Play on Origin Records featuring tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, trombonist Andy Hunter, trumpeter Eli Asher, pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Donald Edwards and vocalist Charmaine Lee spotlighting new music composed by Dr. Branker


Princeton University Jazz Faculty Recital "Composing in the Moment" with Ralph Bowen (tenor saxophone), Bruce Arnold (guitar), Michael Cochrane (piano), Brian Glassman (bass), Adam Cruz (drums), and Dr. Anthony Branker (musical director), February 9, 2013, 8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall



November 2012 release of Together CD by Anthony Branker & Ascent on Origin Records featuring performances by alto & soprano saxophonist Mark Gross, tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, pianist Jonny King, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Donald Edwards
featuring new music composed by Dr. Branker



The Music of Composer Anthony Branker to be performed
by the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Jazz Sextet at the Narva Music School as part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days, sponsored by the US Embassy, Narva, Estonia, November 1, 2012



Dr. Branker to serve as composer-in-residence at The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia, October 22 - November 16, 2012



The Music of Composer Anthony Branker to be performed at the "Good Music" Festival, Odense/Esbjerg, Denmark, September 28, 2012



Dr. Branker to serve as composer-in-residence at The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Odense/Esbjerg, Denmark, September 22-29, 2012


Dr. Anthony Branker presents paper at the 30th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Thessaloniki, Greece, July 15-20, 2012


Dr. Branker serves as symposium panelist with
Ed Sarath (University of Michigan), Chris Sommervelle (University of Melbourne, Australia), and Kathleen Camara (Tufts University) at the
30th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Thessaloniki, Greece, July 15-20, 2012


The Music of Composer Anthony Branker featuring saxophonists Mark Gross & Ralph Bowen, trumpeter Eli Asher , trombonist Andy Hunter, pianists Jonny King & Jim Ridl, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Donald Edwards!! Pre-Recording Session Performance for two Origin Records projects!! Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall, Princeton University


Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble & Birth of the Cool Ensemble, directed by Dr. Anthony Branker to present "Sounds of Revolution or Evolution? - The Music of Bebop, Cool Jazz, and Hard Bop" Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


Princeton University Jazz Composers Collective, directed by Dr. Branker to Sydney, Australia for performances and collaborative concerts with jazz students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, March 2012


Princeton University Jazz Faculty Recital "Composing in the Moment" with Ralph Bowen (tenor saxophone), Bruce Arnold (guitar), Michael Cochrane (piano), Brian Glassman (bass), Adam Cruz (drums), and Dr. Anthony Branker (musical director) on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall


Dr. Anthony Branker presents research at the International Conference of the International Society for Improvised Music, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, February 16-19, 2012


Dr. Branker
serves as panelist with Ed Sarath (University of Michigan) and Kathleen Camara (Tufts University) at the International Conference of the International Society for Improvised Music, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, February 16-19, 2012



Dr. Branker presents lecture on "The Future of Jazz" as part of Black History Month Celebration at Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA, February 15, 2012


The Princeton University Jazz Program presents “Conversations: The Columbia/Princeton Jazz Summit” featuring the Jazz Programs from Columbia University with Dr. Chris Washburne, director and Princeton University, Dr. Anthony D.J. Branker, director on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


Dr. Branker appears as seminar leader for "Administrators as Scholars" as part of the Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA) / New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) School Leadership Conference “Reimagining Learning: A Creative Challenge for School Leaders,” Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; November 9-11, 2011



September 2011 release of Dialogic CD by Anthony Branker & Word Play on Origin Records featuring performances by tenor & soprano saxophonist Ralph Bowen, pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Adam Cruz
spotlighting new music composed by Dr. Branker


Students in Dr. Branker's "Crossing Borders" composition seminar premiere collaborative group compositions at the Ku Ku Club, Tallinn, Estonia, August 29, 2011. Participants came from Conservatories and Music Academies in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia


Dr. Branker presents jazz composition seminar for Socrates/Erasmus Intensive Programme (IP) - “Crossing Borders” in cooperation with the European Union, Association of Baltic Academies of Music, and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia, August 2011


The Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Composers Collective, directed by Dr. Anthony Branker present
s “Mingus, Mingus, Mingus" and New Music composed and performed by the JCC on their recent Tour to Estonia, May 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University


Dr. Branker presents research at the 7th International Conference for Research in Music Education (RIME), University of Exeter, United Kingdom, April 13-16, 2011


Trumpeter Terence Blanchard and His Quintet performs A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) with Dr. Branker conducting Chamber Orchestra on April 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm, McCarter Theatre in Princeton


Anthony Branker & Word Play featuring Ralph Bowen (tenor & soprano saxophones), Kenny Davis (acoustic bass), and Adam Cruz (drums) with guest Jim Ridl (piano) debuts new music composed by Anthony Branker for upcoming Dialogic CD recording project for Origin Records, Paul Robeson Center for the Arts at the Arts Council of Princeton on April 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm 


Princeton University Jazz Composers Collective, directed by Dr. Branker tours Estonia in March 2011, including collaborative concerts and master classes with jazz students from the Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre in Tallinn


Dr. Branker presents research at the Third International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education, Bremen, Germany, March 8-11, 2011
 



Dr. Anthony Branker co-conducts New Jersey-Association for Jazz Education Intercollegiate All State Jazz Ensemble at the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA) State Conference, East Brunswick, NJ, on February 24, 2011 



Dr. Branker featured as Keynote Speaker for Princeton Community Works Conference at Princeton University, January 24, 2011



November 2010 release of Dance Music CD by Anthony Branker & Ascent on Origin Records featuring new music composed by Dr. Branker and performances by alto saxophonist Tia Fuller, tenor & soprano saxophonist Ralph Bowen, trombonist Clifford Adams Jr., pianist Jonny King, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Adam Cruz, vocalist Kadri Voorand, and guitarist Freddie Bryant



The Princeton University Concert Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Anthony Branker presents “Celebrating Jazz and the World with Brazilian singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil” on October 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University


Dr. Anthony Branker
presents research at the 29th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Beijing, China, August 1-6, 2010