A fine pianist and educator, Donald Brown
has also been a prolific composer. He grew up in Memphis and actually started out on drums and trumpet. By the time he attended Memphis State University (1972-1975), he was playing jazz piano. After years of local work, Brown
replaced James Williams
with the Jazz Messengers
(1981-1982). He went on to teach at Berklee (1983-1985) and the University of Tennessee (starting in 1988), recorded albums as a leader for Sunnyside and Muse, and had his compositions performed and recorded by a wide variety of top modern jazz players.