RANDY NAPOLEON QUARTET
“Guitarist Randy Napoleon’s lyrical solo lines strike a sweet spot between virtuosity and emotion.”
-- New Jersey Star-Ledger, Tim Wilkins
“His melodic lines are clean and uncomplicated. He shows a sensitivity for song rather than a desire to show off.”
-- Bob Karlovits, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"One of Chicago’s most appealing jazz guitarists…uncounted Chicago jazz artists have collaborated with Brown on club dates and recording sessions, and they know better than anyone the depth of his work and unpretentiousness of his manner…for all his easygoing virtuosity, he places the emphasis on musical phrase rather than pyrotechnics."
-- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Randy Napoleon - guitar
Andy Brown - guitar
Joe Policastro - bass
Greg Artry - drums
Known as a forward-thinking musician with a passion for the jazz tradition, guitarist Randy Napoleon tours with the legendary singer/pianist Freddy Cole and leads his own trios, quartet, and three-horn sextet. He is an assistant professor at Michigan State University, where he teaches jazz guitar.
Napoleon is also a composer and an arranger for singers, big bands, and small combos. He arranged as well as performed on Cole’s 2010 Grammy-nominated release from High Note, Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B. He is also the guitarist on Cole’s Live at Dizzy’s Club: The Dreamer in Me, Talk to Me, and This and That. When off the road in his home in Manhattan, he also freelances with artists across the jazz spectrum such as Bill Charlap, Natalie Cole, Rodney Whitaker, Melissa Morgan, Aaron Diehl, Josh Brown, Dmitry Baevsky, Jared Gold, Etienne Charles, Mike Dease, Sara Gazarek, Brianna Thomas, Bootsie Barnes, Mike Karn, Eric Comstock. Will and Pete Anderson, and Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Prior to joining Freddy Cole, Napoleon toured with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and appears on the recording, The Clayton Hamilton Orchestra: Live at MCG. He has also toured extensively with Benny Green and crooner Michael Buble. Napoleon is featured on Buble’s Grammy-nominated CD Caught in the Act. Napoleon has played or arranged on over seventy records.
Guitarist George Benson calls Napoleon “sensational.” Detroit Free Press critic Mark Stryker says Napoleon “plays with a gentle, purring tone that makes you lean in close to hear its range of color and articulation.” Washington Post critic Mike Joyce praises his “exceptionally nimble finger-style technique.” Comparing him to Wes Montgomery, music critic Michael G. Nastos says, “he displays an even balance of swing, soul, and single-line or chord elements that mark an emerging voice dedicated to tradition and universally accessible jazz values.”
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Chicagoan Andy Brown has been called a “superior mainstream guitarist” in Downbeat magazine.
As a sideman he has performed with internationally known jazz musicians including Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Warren Vaché, Ken Peplowski, Hod O’Brien, Anat Cohen, Kurt Elling and many others.
His love of great tunes as well as accompanying skills have made him a favorite with vocalists in the Chicago area. He also had the good fortune to accompany Barbra Streisand when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009.
Andy has made many festival appearances around the world including performances in Brazil, Europe and Canada. In 2012, his trio was invited by the Chicago Mayor's office to perform for the Nobel Peace Prize dinner in Chicago where invited guests included U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as the Dalai Lama and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Since 2009, Andy has co-led a two-guitar quartet with renowned guitarist Howard Alden. In 2013, Delmark Records released a CD of the group entitled "Heavy Artillery" which received four stars in Downbeat Magazine and was featured in their annual Albums Of The Year issue.
His latest CD is the 2016 Delmark Records release “Direct Call.”