Bradley Young

“I’m an incurable romantic, but I’ve got to tell you, it’s an easy condition to live with.” Bradley Young says with a smile.

“And the only thing that makes me feel better is when I’m playing jazz standards.”

And play he does – since the age of five.

Bradley Young has been performing, and touching people’s lives with his piano playing since he performed his first recital at the age of 8 years old at Lutkin Hall on the campus of Chicago’s Northwestern University. He continues to inspire and move audiences everywhere with his unique touch, and deeply felt, blues saturated phrasing. A sought after accompanist to some of the finest vocalists in Los Angeles, he has become one of the most respected and beloved masters of hard swinging jazz piano on the music scene today.

Starting private study on piano, he was a Northwestern University student at age five, an Evanston Conservatory of Music student by 14, and a Berklee College of Music grad and Chet Baker accompanist by his early twenties.

And all along the way, he devoured and mastered a host of musical styles. Classical, blues, soul, funk, boogie woogie, stride and bebop. Seen in action, Bradley’s abilities and musical vocabulary can be breathtaking, resulting in phrasings that are his alone. What is immediately evident when hearing Bradley for the first time is how deeply his roots run…here is a pianist with a profound passion for the history of Jazz.

A real renaissance man, Bradley has earned his stripes as a soloist, combo and orchestra leader, and recording artist….plus he’s performed as pianist and music director for hundreds of high profile special events, feting such luminaries as Clint Eastwood, Sigourney Weaver, Sharon Stone, Brooke Shields, Gary Shandling, and Teri Hatcher.

But no matter what, it’s jazz – deeply romantic, swinging jazz that moves him most – now primarily as a soloist or as the leader of an intimate combo.

Currently based in Los Angeles, Bradley can be seen setting the mood at many of his favorite romantic jazz nightspots, including The Pilsner Room, The Aldabella Winery, The Port, Cook’s Chapel, and the world famous Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach. He also created a stir at the Newport Beach Jazz Party with his “Tribute to Gene Harris” (one of Bradley’s favorite pianists), featuring guitar legends Ron Eschete and Frank Potenza, along with sax great Scott Hamilton, Luther Hughes on bass, and Paul Kreibich on drums.

For The Record

No matter how much talk there is about Bradley’s playing, it’s the hearing that makes believing. And it’s easy to convert listeners into believers with a single sampling of Bradley’s “Midnight Rhapsody” CD. Pick up a copy at cdbaby or Amazon.

Bradley’s talent also shines brilliantly on Enja Records’ recently pressed “Chet In Chicago”, a previously unreleased studio session featuring jazz trumpet legend Chet Baker, with Bradley on piano. Recorded in 1986, the CD also features Larry Gray on bass and the late Rusty Jones on drums. This superb recording is available on Amazon and E-Bay.

Mentors and Influences

A Chicago native, Bradley’s eclectic, intimate style draws from the entire history of jazz piano. Bradley’s first inspiration was stride and boogie woogie – he spent years listening to recordings and practicing to master the sounds of piano legends like James P. Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Pete Johnson, and Albert Ammons.

Playing his first professional gigs at Chicago nightclubs at the tender age of 15, Bradley hooked up with local blues legends Freddie Below, Big Time Sarah, Walter “Shaky” Horton, and Jeanne Carroll. He began studying with famed blues pianist and recording star Erwin Helfer.

After many years of diligent study and practice, Bradley became fluent in his heros’ styles, and he soon became known throughout Chicago as “the young piano prodigy of Boogie Woogie”. Arriving as a college student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the young musician began delving into the stylings of legendary pianists like Lennie Tristano, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock. His style soon evolved from Boogie Woogie to Bebop.

Once established in L.A. in 1993, Bradley started studying with teachers and mentors like Alan Pasqua, Tamir Hendelman, and Terry Trotter. He then graduated on to play and record with jazz greats Sam Most, Scott Hamilton, Jack Sheldon, Kevin O’Neill, John B. Williams, Ron Eschete, Buddy Childers, Steve Cole, Tony Dumas, Luther Hughes, Dave Carpenter, Peter Erskine and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Bradley has also performed with vocalists such as Sherry Williams, Janis Mann, Barbara Morrisson, and Grammy award winner Bili Redd.

A Final Note

Musical education and dues-paying experience go a long, long way. But there’s no substitute for the gift of being able to touch people’s lives with their musical art. Together, all of these qualities play off one another and come together– unifying in an amazingly unique sound that’s Bradley’s alone. So take a listen. And once again, fall in love with the world’s most exquisite music…Jazz.