B A R R Y B R A K E . C O M



the silver gig.








sacred harp suite.
new interpretations of american classics

silver gig notes.
each song on the CD discussed

hear some samples of my first solo effort

we 3 kings.
the protagonists' christmas CD


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 O ne day earlier in 09, I realized with a start that it had been 25 years since my first steady engagement, which was a three-hour-a-day-five-day-a-week solo piano stint at the historic Gunter Hotel, in downtown San Antonio. I'd played professional gigs since I was 14 years old, but this was steady and real and didn't come from anyone my parents knew.

When I was 17, I strode into the Gunter's gorgeous lobby, found the manager, and informed him that I'd like to be the lobby pianist. His response: "As you can see, we already have a lobby pianist."

My response: "I know, but I'm better." I pointed out that the pianist had stacks and stacks of music books, one of which she slavishly peered at as she played. I played music from my head: visually far superior.

I sat down and played for the manager. He liked what he heard; I was hired; I signed a contract and started the following Monday.

What a great job for a high-schooler! I dressed in a suit and tie, drove downtown every day, found parking, played my heart out for three hours, navigated the society of bellhops and concierges, and made (for a high-schooler) spectacular money. Not to mention the amazing pastries from the Cafe Suisse, free of charge for all lobby pianists.

Here we are, 25 years later. I've stayed in the music business since that day. In just a few days, I threw together a CD made up of several recordings I made in 2009, plus one or two brand new cuts. It's all in there: originals, contrafacts (that's new songs based on the structures of classic jazz songs), pop tunes, classical pieces, all gleefully yanked into the jazz idiom.


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Click here for more about each piece on the CD!

1. Waltz, Op 64 No 2 · F. CHOPIN
2. Green-Eyed Boy · B. BRAKE
3. Goodnight Piano · B. BRAKE
4. B-Wire Blues · B. BRAKE
5. Beautiful Cate · B. BRAKE
6. All I'll Ever Need · C. BRAKE
7. Cum On Feel The Noize · J. LEA
8. Loong · B. BRAKE
9. The Girl Changes · B. BRAKE
10. Marche Slave · P. TCHAIKOVSKY