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Soul Sessions: Jeff Bradshaw and Eric Roberson
Soul Sessions: Jeff Bradshaw and Eric Roberson
January 1, 2022 @ 8:00 pm

Start the New Year off right and full of soul at our New Year’s Day concert! Jeff Bradshaw and Eric Roberson are helping us kick off not only the year but also our Soul Session series.

Jeff BradshawJeff Bradshaw:

Funky, soulful, jazzy and fearless when he takes the stage, Jeff Bradshaw has turned the lowly trombone into a powerhouse of sound. Jeff has brought his unique trombone stylings to the music of Erykah Badu, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, Darius Rucker, Mary J. Blige, Kirk Franklin, Dave Chapelle, Jay Z, The Roots, Jill Scott, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson and others. Many think of the trumpet or saxophone as the only possible front-runners with which to lead a jazz band. Jeff Bradshaw turned that notion on its head when he signed with Hidden Beach Recordings as a solo act. This North Philly showman can do things with a trombone that many trumpet and saxophone players can barely approach. Simply put, Jeff is otherworldly when he takes centerstage to wow an audience––and he does it all with the traditional underdog of the brass horn family.

Jeff started his musical journey from a dilapidated North Philadelphia church where brass horns were regularly celebrated and used in praise music. The lively horn section was reportedly the main attraction to the church. Exposed to this horn playing culture at an early age, Bradshaw originally chose baritone horn and sousaphone as instruments of study. However, fate was calling Jeff to a different direction. In high school band, Bradshaw noticed how students enthusiastically flocked to the “sexier” instruments––like drums, trumpet and sax––while completely ignoring the lonely stack of trombones. Something told Jeff to go to the stack of neglected instruments to find his unique voice. That’s exactly what he did. Bradshaw began a decades long quest to show the world how powerful, moving and sexy the trombone could be when handled by a maestro. The rest is history. Jeff Bradshaw’s debut album on Hidden Beach Recordings, entitled “Bone Deep,” was considered a masterpiece by many. His sophomore release, debuted on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, plateauing at #3. “Bone Appetit” was nominated for best jazz album of the year at the NAACP IMAGE AWARDS.

Jeff BradshawEric Roberson:

“When I write, I get lost in the music process” – Eric Roberson

“My brother Eric Roberson, I believe, is one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time.” – DJ Jazzy Jeff

As a GRAMMY Award-nominee, Singer, Songwriter, Producer and Howard University alum, Eric Roberson continues to break boundaries as an independent artist in an industry dominated by major labels, manufactured sounds and mainstream radio. Described as the original pioneer of the independent movement in R&B/Soul music, Eric has achieved major milestones in his career, from being a successful songwriter and producer for notable artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Vivian Green and countless others, to headlining sold out tours across the country.

Eric is celebrating over twenty years as an independent artist, creating “Honest Music” since 2001, which has afforded him the artistic freedom that isn’t typically offered in the mainstream music industry. Throughout 2021, Eric will be sharing his creative thought process and work he’s done on his last 13 solo albums. “I was more than willing to take less to enjoy my passion. I was fortunate to be rewarded with a career…a career that I never dreamed of.”

In April 2021, Eric will release a new single, entitled “Lessons”. Ironically, the song was recorded on the morning of his 12th wedding anniversary to his wife Shawn, with whom he credits as his inspiration.  Eric says, “Being blessed to be with a woman who has had my back and who completes me, helped put me in a special mood to create”.

As Eric reflects on his new single release, he said, “I thank God for not having my temporary prayers answered. We have to have the heartbreak, the roadblocks and [other] things to not work out as planned. There’s a lesson in just being patient and swimming against the current to get to your destination. That’s the lesson for me. Knowing that there’s a reason for setback, for failure, for all of it.”

In 2020, we faced an unprecedented time that was challenging, but it also afforded Eric the perfect time of solitude from the world to immerse himself creatively. With this, he created a powerful album, entitled “Hear from Here”, a musical cry out to its listeners who longed for a sound of hope. This ten-song impromptu masterpiece was done in just four (4) weeks (March 2020). Roberson describes “Hear from Here” as an “act of service” to his devoted fans.

“Hear from Here” opens with songs like “Road to Recovery”, an up-tempo jam where Roberson lays it out on the line. “Shows cancelled…we have nothing to do but music. I hope to take your mind off things”. “Road to Recovery” and “Omaha” show off Eric’s ability to rap as well. The project closes out with its solo feature song, “Shining”, featuring fellow United Tenors member, Brian Courtney Wilson. This compilation takes you on a joyful journey spreading hope, love and inspiration. Roberson hopes that as fans listen to this album, they are inspired to dance, love and make the best of NOW!

In 2019, Eric was asked to be a Professor at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he currently teaches songwriting and other useful skills in the business of music. When asked about the position he stated that “It was an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse. I truly believe that at all times we are teachers and students. I not only love teaching the students but learning from them as well.”

While recording the trilogy album “Earth, Wind & Fire” in 2017, Eric created “The Process”, a forum in which he invites fans to navigate through his creative experience. It allows fans to listen and comment to unreleased songs, thereby being a part of the “process” of making music. “We are losing so much of the culture that went with listening to music. Letting the fans watch us create the albums was our way of bringing some of the old music culture back.” says Eric.

Eric was nominated in 2010 and 2011 for a GRAMMY award in the “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” category and continues to blaze trails unheard of as an independent artist. He was the recipient of the “Underground Artist of the Year” BETJ Virtual Award, with Rahsaan Patterson in 2008, and he became the first independent artist to be nominated for a BET Award in 2007. You can follow Eric’s amazing 20 plus year journey at JoinTheProcess.com, as well as EricRobersonMusic.com.