SOULPEPPER 2023: Sympathy for the Devil
Neil Brathwaite was raised in Montreal, Quebec, with West Indian roots from Barbados. Introduced at the age seven to classical music, he studied piano with Oscar Peterson’s sister, Daisy Sweeney and was acquainted with jazz by listening to music his father played within the house. Brathwaite began playing alto sax in high school while getting experience playing with local R&B bands in Montreal. He later went on to study at the University de Montpellier in France and completed his music education in Toronto attending the Humber College music program and studying under Pat LaBarbera. Throughout his career he has worn many hats including leading a successful commercial R&B act “B-Fun” with their version of Bruce Cockburn's “Wondering Where the Lions Are”. He's also been the co-host and musical director of a Canadian television show called “The Toronto Show” as well as the musical director of the former Toronto annual urban showcase “Bump N' Hustle”. Brathwaite has performed and recorded in various musical genres including R&B, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Country, Rock and World Music. Amongst the artists that he has worked with includes George Clinton, Danilo Perez, Wynton Marsalis, Salome Bey, Deborah Cox, Molly Johnson, Slim Gaillard, Kelis, The S.O.S. Band, Gerald Levert, KC and JoJo and more. Brathwaite continues to thrive in his passion, having released his first solo Jazz album with his quartet, Neil Brathwaite Group in March of 2023 titled “Bee Thankful”. He is also featured on the celebrated record “Soul Funkn’ BLUES”, touring all around Canada with Blackburn Brothers.