Lauryn Hill's Sax Man is a Poster Child for Modern Black Male Artists
-- Brent Birckhead enjoys the bright lights on stage not as a singer or rapper, but by playing his horn --
Black Jazz News Staff
Too often, young black men feel their options in music are limited to rapping, singing or DJ'ing. We have lived in a world of electronic music for the past 35 years where many in our culture have never even heard a clarinet, French horn or live drum performance on the radio. But thanks to artists like hip-hop legend Lauryn Hill, who are staunch supporters of live musicians in their concerts, there is a creative alternative to expression in pop culture-- playing an instrument.
Brent Birckhead is proof positive that careers playing an instrument on the big stage is a viable option for creative black men. First, Brent is cool as hell. If you saw him without his horn you might think he was some sort of celebrity. And as Lauryn Hill's saxophone player, and a star on the up and coming Giant Steps TV Show pilot on Amazon, you could say he is. But most importantly, the 30 year old Baltimore native can play his ass off. His mastery on the alto sax allows him to pay homage to the historic styles of jazz such as bebop and modern, but he can also kick back and pocket with the rest of the horn section in concert with the former Fugee icon, Hill.
The life of a musician in the music game is something many aspiring young brothers should take note of. Brent travels worldwide expressing himself on his horn, just like a rapper or singer who uses words. He does it before thousands of engaged fans at packed venues. To say it simply, Brent Birckhead is a hip hop artist and without he and the other live musicians, Hill's music could not hit you the way it does. So young brothers, consider adding to your skills by picking up a horn to make your dreams come true.