The Fellowship Band has been a creative ensemble since 1997.
Brian Blade and Jon Cowherd’s original compositions, written for Chris Thomas,
Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, speak to their personal experiences and
observations along life’s way.
Brian was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, a town on the Red River, close to the
triangular border of Texas and Arkansas. Its location, in the heart of the southern
United States, makes it a magnet for sounds from a variety of African-American
sources: blues, gospel, country and other regional folk music.
His father, Brady L. Blade, Sr., has been the pastor of The Zion Baptist Church in
Shreveport, Louisiana since September 5, 1961. Brian and his brother, Brady, Jr.,
grew up with the sound of the church. At age nine, Brian’s first instrument was the
violin, but because of his brother’s influence, he started to play the drums in
church at age thirteen.
In the last twenty years, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band have released four
albums on the Blue Note / Universal label (Fellowship 1998, Perceptual 2000,
Season of Changes 2008 and Landmarks 2014) preparing to release the fifth
recording in 2017. Brian has recorded with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Daniel Lanois,
Marianne Faithfull, Norah Jones, Billy Childs, Joshua Redman, and Kenny Garrett.
Since 2000, he has been a member of the Wayne Shorter quartet with Danilo Perez
and John Patitucci, acknowledging that, “Wayne has been an enormous blessing in
my life. I’ve learned from him that when we start from nothing, what he calls ‘zero
gravity’, we have to be fearless to take a chance together and walk out on the
The Fellowship Band exemplifies the development of a singular sound and vision
being formed from multiple points of view, meant to lift the spirit and bring joy to
the listener. This joy is what The Fellowship Band hopes to share with the
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
Brian Blade Drums
Jon Cowherd Piano
Chris Thomas Bass
Melvin Butler Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Myron Walden Alto Saxophone and Bass Clarinet
Photographer: john abbott