JEWEL BROWN – SATURDAY, 4/11 @ 3:00PM
Jewel Brown, born and bred Houston jazz and blues artist. She was born in Houston’s Third Ward August 30, 1937. At an early age she began singing in the choir at Rosehill Baptist Church and first performed at the age of nine at the Masonic Temple in the Fourth Ward. Her first professional singing job was at the age of 12 at the Manhattan Club in Galveston.
She continued singing professionally while in school, During her senior year she was invited to accompany Lionel Hampton’s group to tour Europe but stayed in school and sang locally with her brother’s group, performing at clubs with her mother accompanying.
On a Los Angeles vacation in 1957 she sat in with organist Earl Grant at the Club Pigalle. She was hired on the spot that night for an engagement that lasted a whole year. From there Ms. Brown went on to Dallas, Texas to work in Jack Ruby’s Night Clubs that lasted for more than a year. Among the many venues in which she worked in was the Ebony and Angelo’s in Houston, the Tidelands in San Antonio.
After having been discovered by Associated Booking Corporation’s (ABC) branch manager, Tony Zoppi, she was hired by the legendary Joe Glaser himself and given the opportunity to join either jazz greats Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington.
She chose Louis Armstrong and was with Mr. Armstrong from 1961 to 1969. They were sensational years during which Armstrong performed almost continuously both in the U.S. and abroad. During that time Ms. Brown was on sound recordings and film. She appears with Louis in the film “Louis Armstrong and All Stars” (1961) and in a duet with Armstrong in the film “Solo”, directed by Johnny Winter. Recordings include “The Essential Louis Armstrong”, “Louis Armstrong and His All Stars En Concert avec Europe 1”, “Sleepy Time Down South” and many other live performances with Louis currently available on CD. Also performed with Carrol Garner, Earl Grant, and Arnett Cobb, many others.
In 1971, after 23 years of performing, Ms. Brown took leave from the stage and returned to Houston to care for her ailing parents. She continues to dazzle audiences at local gigs and on European tours. Jewel Brown is also been the featured vocalist with The Heritage Hall Jazz Band.