Todd Brunel is a clarinetist and sax player, who performs extensively as a classical and jazz musician. He is a member of several acclaimed original music projects including: Musaner (Music of Armenia re-imagined), The Eric Hofbauer Quintet, Made In the Shade, the Dylan Jack Quartet, the David Haas Group, the Last Taxi with Pat Battstone, the Sonic Explorers and the avante-funk band, The Circadian Rhythm Kings. He performs frequently with Peter Cassino and Sal Baglio and has worked with Andy Pratt, Laurence ‘Butch’ Morris, Jonathan Stout and his Campus 5, Garrison Fewell, Louis Bellson, John McLellan, Dave Maxwell, Daniel Carter, Bobby Watson, John Tchicai and Guo Yhazhi. Brunel is the director of the Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music and has been awarded grants by the Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington and Massachusetts Cultural Councils.
As a classical musician, performances include guest appearances with Music at Eden’s Edge, The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra Salon Series, the Chaminade Music Club, ALEA III, The Chromatic Club of Boston, The International Cat Murr Composers Society, The Bulgarian Virtuosi, Xanthos Ensemble and Opal Ensemble which he co-founded in 2012. He has premiered new works by composers John Mcdonald, Alla Cohen, Brian Buch, John Kusiak, Pamela Watson, Vache Sharafyan, Vuk Kulenovic, Pamela Marshall and many others. Some of his recent appearances include Carnegie Hall, ISIM 2015-16, Dartmouth College, Bard College, Boston College and Spazio Teatro NO'HMA in Milan. He can be heard on several critically acclaimed albums including the Eric Hofbauer Quintet Prehistoric Jazz Volumes One, Two, Three and Four (CNM), Musaner (Lucent Music), Alla Elana Cohen: Red Lillies of Bells (Ravello Records), The Dylan Jack Quartet: Diagrams (CNM) and the soundtrack to several independent films including: One Cut One Life, and the PBS documentaries, the Battle of Chosin and Paul Robeson, 'Here I Stand'. Brunel is a recording artist with CNM, PARMA Records and is currently the bass clarinetist and saxophonist with the Claflin Hill Symphony and principal clarinet of the Waltham Symphony Orchestra.
Mr Brunel is on the faculty of Wheaton College and is a NEST artist with the New England Foundation for the Arts. He is also on the faculties of the Powers Music School, and the Lexington Music School. He holds an MM from the Brooklyn College Conservatory and a BM from the Boston Conservatory where he was a clarinet student of Atilio Poto. Professor Brunel is a Conn-Selmer Endorsing artist and clinician and plays a Selmer Paris 35 bass clarinet. To find out more about Todd Brunel, his clinics and performances, visit him online at: www.clarinetconspiracy.com
Link to Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Brunel
Biographical Information (Long)
Clarinetist and saxophonist Todd Brunel was born into a musical family, his mother Suzanne Brunel (1941-1998) was an operatic soprano who sang with Robert Merrill and Boris Goldofsky and his father Dean Brunel is a pianist who doubles as an attorney. The father and son duo would play jam sessions for hours and his mother would encourage family performances at senior centers and church spaces. He can remember his first 'bar' gig at the age of ten with his dad on piano, the two would just sit down and jam, playing songs like 'Honey Suckle Rose' and 'I Got Rhythm'. He began his formative training in the 1970's with multi-instrumentalist Lee Costa and In the 1980's (after graduating from Wayland High School), he began training at the Boston Conservatory with Atilio Poto where earned a Bachelors degree in clarinet performance in 1990. In the 1990's, he continued private study with Pasquale Cardillo and became a graduate student and scholarship recipient at The University of North Texas. After brief adventures in Washington DC, Aspen Colorado, Albuquerque New Mexico and Occidental California, he finally settled in New York City to pursue a Masters degree at Brooklyn College Conservatory. As a graduate student he used to work, sleep and jam at the jazz club Smalls and began his life as a professional freelance clarinetist and sax player.
Today Todd Brunel is recognized as an innovative, critically acclaimed clarinetist, saxophonist, composer and producer who performs extensively as a classical and improvisational musician. His recordings with the Eric Hofbauer Quintet have made several top ten lists for 2015 and 2016 and have been featured on NPR's Fresh Air and Downbeat Magazine. He has been featured on WBUR's Radio Boston with Musaner and recently made the number 12 spot on the CMJ Jazz Charts with his release, 'The Last Taxi', called "Something Beautiful" by Dustin Mallory of Cadence Magazine. He can also be heard on the 2015 Parma Recordings release: Segio Cervetti Concertino for Piano, Woodwinds and Timpani.
In the world premiere event 'From Requiem to Renewal' at Boston College, Eileen Pfeiffer of the Boston Globe hailed: "Clarinetist Todd Brunel and pianist Synthia Sture played with tremendous virtuosity and heart". Mr Brunel has premiered works by numerous composers including: George ‘Skip’ Brunner, John McDonald, Claudio Gabriele, John Kusiak, Matthew D. Harder, Pamela Marshall, Kathryn Rosenbach, Rick Sowash, Ara Sarkissian, Jose Louis Hurtado, Johnny Reinhard, Vuk Kulenovic, Etienne Rolin, Pamela Baskin-Watson, and Vache Sharafyan. “The perfect control over the instruments allowed the soloists the subtle at times almost jocular transition through different styles and genres.” Musical Horizons Magazine.
As a jazz/improvisational performer and composer, he produces The Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music and is a grant recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Cambridge Arts Council, the Somerville Arts Council and Art Without Borders. The Vortex Series has also been chosen as the jazz "pick of the week" in the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Globe. Among his hundreds of performances at clubs and social establishments, Brunel and his groups have played at Bozar in Brussels, BE, The Montreal Jazz Festival, the Boston Jazz Festival, The Bowery Poetry club, Out of the Box Festival, Theatro NO'HMA Milano, IT, Mobius, The International Woodwind Festival, Preservation Jazz Hall, Ryles, CBGB’s Gallery, The Boston Music Festival, the American Microtonal Festival and numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.
Mr Brunel is currently a member of the The Eric Hofbauer Quintet, Circadian Rhythm Kings (2008 Innova Recordings, 2014 The Rotary Records), MusAner (innovative arrangements of folk music from Armenia), The UnYoung with bassist Andrew Blickenderfer and drummer Takaaki Masuko, Jerry Sabatini's Sonic Explorers, The Last Taxi, The Dylan Jack Quartet, The Variable Density Sound Orchestra, Kit Demos' Flametet, Know Orchestra and the Vortex Other Dimension Ensemble. He has performed with Bobby Watson, John Tchicai, David Maxwell, Garrison Fewell, Andy Pratt, Jack Wright and Louie Bellson. His duo collaboration with pianist Peter Cassino has been featured at the Longy School of Music at Bard College 'Septemberfest', the International Society for Improvised Music in Chateux D'eox, Switzerland and at the New School for Social Research in New York. He has premiered his own compositions at the Stein Chamber Music Festival, the 2010 MLK Celebration with poet Regie Gibson for the Town of Lexington, MA, The Powers Music School faculty concert music series, the Longy School of Music at Bard College, Boston University, the American Festival of Microtonal Music and the Electric Rainbow Coalition Festival at Dartmouth, College.
As a classical musician, Mr Brunel has made guest appearances at Carnegie Hall, The SEAMUS Festival, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, The Boston Conservatory, The Longy School, the Manhattan School of Music, The Academy of Music Dance and Art in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and The Winter Sun Music Festival with soprano Crystal Sikora and pianist Daltin Baldwin. He is the principal clarinetist with the Waltham Symphony and the bass clarinetist and auxiliary saxophonist with the Claflin Hill Symphony. He is a member of Opal Ensemble with pianist Paul Carlson and violist Anne Black with whom he has received grants from the Arlington and Massachusetts Cultural Councils. He has worked with ALEA III, the Boston Chamber Ensemble, the Lexington Symphony, The New Bedford Symphony, The New England Philharmonic, the Bulgarian Virtuosi, and the Chagall Performance Art Collaborative. He can be heard on the soundtrack for the PBS documentary, "Paul Robeson, Here I Stand" and several independent films including: One Cut One Life, Uncle Nick and Dark On. He has played principal clarinet with the Opera Ebony of Harlem and principal clarinet with the American Opera Musical Theater Company. Mr Brunel is also a board member of the Chromatic Club of Boston and has been a featured performer on their concert music series.
Mr Brunel is on the Faculty of Wheaton College in Norton Massachusetts, The Community Music Center of Boston, The Lexington Music School and the Powers Music School in Belmont, Massachusetts. He is also a guest clinician with the Mass Bay Music Festivals and Babson College. His website: www.clarinetconspiracy.com is dedicated to an innovative approach to clarinet playing in the 21st Century.
Brunel received an MM from the Brooklyn College Conservatory, where he was a teaching assistant to Paul Shelden. He holds a BM from the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he studied clarinet with Atilio Poto. Other clarinet teachers have included Pasquale Cardillo, Thomas Martin and Jonathan Cohler. He has pursued additional graduate study at the Longy School of Music as a scholarship recipient, the University of North Texas and Boston University. He was a scholarship participant at the Aspen Music Festival and has studied composition with Sam Headrick and jazz improvisation with Bob Mover and Peter Cassino.Todd Brunel is a Conn-Selmer endorsing artist and clinician and plays the Selmer Paris 35 bass clarinet.