Biography

When Jack Brand was 6, a piano teacher called the house looking for students.  His mother polled the family for interest but his older sister was the only one who decided to take lessons.  Later that night, before Jack fell asleep, something inside him made him call his mother into his bedroom where he told her he had changed his mind, and also wanted to take piano lessons.  Thus the musical journey began...

One of his first piano teachers included heavy doses of music theory and ear training in the lessons, and Jack didn’t know any better than to think this was just the norm, as opposed to an extraordinary gift.  His understanding of music theory led him in future years to explore the musical secrets of every type of music he encountered - and to be able to listen to and figure out whatever popular songs he put his mind to.  Self-taught as a teen on guitar, he made a pact with himself in high school never to go to bed without having learned one new thing that day - a new chord or a piece of a song he wanted to learn.  More than once he would lay in bed, realize he had not met the day’s goal, jump up and grab the guitar, and quickly and quietly figure out something before sleeping.  He preferred learning by ear, and never considered himself anything but a lazy sight reader.

Born into a family of engineers, he dutifully enrolled in college as a student of Electrical Engineering.  This was to last only a year, when he realized he just wasn’t cut out for it.  His father, a PhD Engineer, drove him the 3 hours to the University of Missouri in Columbia to help him figure out how to be a music major.   Since piano was his main instrument, he was sent upstairs to audition for the Piano Performance professor, who after hearing a few bars, diplomatically suggested perhaps he should go back downstairs and have a chat with the head of the Theory department…  A year into a Theory major Jack took his first Composition class, and after the first couple of assignments the professor pulled him aside and persuaded him to please switch to Composition as his field of study.  He did.  Jack was writing his composition assignments in a way he secretly thought was cheating: “I would just make up pieces I thought sounded good.”

Post college, Jack’s musical interests were evenly split between his “classical” training, and his love for pop, rock and folk music.  He studied filmscoring at UCLA, and worked on developing his songwriting craft.  While his day job and raising a young family kept his musical pursuits off the front burner, his commitment and desire to create music never wavered.

After relocating to Seattle, the music focus returned and Jack entered songwriting partnerships, was a founding member of the band Shades of Red (which released 2 CDs), and began scoring short films.  In 2007 another aspect of his musical persona emerged, as he co-wrote an original musical, 87th and Viridian, in the short span of 6 weeks.  The writing team (Evan Brand, Emily Ferguson, and Jack) then cast and produced the show at a local community theatre, where it ran to enthusiastic audiences.

In 2011, Jack found himself band-less, and with no musical projects on his plate.  But he now had 3 new musical goals: Recording a solo CD, polishing and packaging 87th and Viridian, and landing a feature film to score.  While he wanted to work on all 3 at once, he had to prioritize, and the solo CD won out as first in line... About Batik Journey