Brian SimpsonKeyboardist, composer and studio musician Brian Simpson is known for his ability to sculpt timeless love songs, soulful party anthems and melodies that stay on your mind. Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, and growing up in a house filled with music, Brian always knew music would play center stage in his life. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Simpson relocated to Los Angeles where he quickly immersed himself in the local jazz scene. Late night jazz sessions found him playing alongside everyone from saxophonists Everette Harp and Boney James to guitarist Norman Brown. But soon the free-spirited musician found himself taking a temporary leave of absence from the jazz scene, touring the world with pop divas Teena Marie, Sheena Easton and Janet Jackson. His foray into the pop world didn’t end there; in January 1991 he co-wrote the #1 Pop hit “The First Time” by Surface, which conquered both the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts.
Placing his success in pop aside, Brian Simpson has always been a working jazz musician. He has toured with some of the greats of recent jazz history, including George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum, and Jonathan Butler. Simpson’s breakthrough as a solo artist began in 2005 with “It’s All Good”, a track that hit #1 on the Radio & Records Smooth Jazz Airplay chart and remained in the Top 5 for four months. His latest album is called “South Beach” (2010). Brian has been the musical director for jazz saxophonist Dave Koz for the past 15 years, and for the last 8 years the Musical Director, of the highly popular “Smooth Jazz Cruise” featuring Marcus Miller and David Sanborn.