Keyboardist and trombonist (!) Brian Culbertson is from Decatur, Illinois. He learned to play a lot of instruments in grammar school and high school, including piano, drums, bass, euphonium, and many others. He attended DePaul University in Chicago, whre he met his future wife Michelle, known professionally as Micaela Haley, through a friend. They’ve worked together frequently, initially on commercials for McDonalds and State Farm (a couple of good Illinois companies). His influences include Marcus Miller, George Duke, The Yellowjackets, Chicago (several of whose members were also DePaul graduates) and Earth, Wind & Fire.
He’s recorded 17 albums (including two live albums), several of which reached #1 on the jazz chart. Here’s “Long Night Out,” featuring Candy Dulfer on saxophone, from his 2014 #1 release, Another Long Night Out.
Here’s the title track from his most recent album, last year’s Colors Of Love, which also topped the jazz chart.
In 2011, Brian started the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. This annual event has proven so popular that this year he’s added a second one in Chicago. This year’s concert in Napa Valley is scheduled for June 5-8, while the one in Chicago is set for September 19-22. His website tells us he’ll be doing the Smooth Jazz Cruise later this month.
Brian Culbertson, your Two for Tuesday, February 5, 2019.