Brad Esbensen is a Brisbane based trumpet player, arranger, composer, copyist and educator. After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Music Education, he spent the next few years touring Australia with a seven piece rock band backing a variety of acts including the Drifters, Little Patti, Normie Rowe, D.J. Fontana, the Moscow Circus and The Blues Brothers in Concept show. He has worked in backing bands for artists including Kenny Rogers, James Morrison, Grace Knight, Max Miller and many others. He is currently working as Musical Director of the Brisbane Big Band which has been the resident big band for the Brisbane Jazz Club since 1974. He also works regularly with local bands including Decahedron (a 10-piece jazz group), Jeff Usher’s Love Supreme Superband, Tingira Jazz Band, Vegas Please.
His compositions have featured regularly as test pieces for the Jazz Ensemble sections in the Australian Academy Festival of Music since 2001. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been performed with a variety of groups including the Australian All Star Youth Big Band, Queensland Youth Orchestra Big Band, Brisbane All Star Youth Big Band and the Queensland Pops Orchestra. He has been engaged as a copyist by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and various local and touring shows. He was the recipient of first place in the 1994 Perth Jazz Orchestra Composition Awards with an original arrangement of “There Will Never Be Another You”.
He is currently working as an instrumental music tutor, classroom music teacher and arranger/composer for the Arts faculty at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane. He holds an Associate in Composition from the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition and a Diploma of Music Technology from the University of Newcastle. He is a member of the Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia (MAGA) National Executive, the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) and has held the position of webmaster for Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association – Queensland (ABODAQ).
Brad’s work as an accomplished composer and performer may be heard in the performance of his original composition, “On the Bus“.
The musicians featured on this track include:
Saxes: Paul Gibens (solo), Craig Spink, David Smith, Tony Bryer, Catherine Esbensen
Trumpets: Brad Esbensen (lead, solo), Michael Rogers
Trombones: Rob Anders, Michael Potts (bass)
Piano: Jeff Usher
Bass: Andrew Johnson
Drums: Kerri-Leigh Gallagher
“Fix it again Tony! is a great big band arrangement that I have used to introduce a blues shuffle to my intermediate level adult big band the Kate Street Mob http://www.brizwest.com/ . It features a foot tapping driving rhythmic style for drums and bass and also has interesting melodic lines in the saxes and trumpets. I also like it because it has a solo section with easy chord changes that can be opened up to feature any member of the band. Purchasing the chart from Brad Esbensen was very quick and his response to my questions was efficient. The chart was delivered electronically which is great, no more wasted money on postage. I will certainly be buying more charts for my band in the future from Brad Esbensen.”
-Ryan Weymouth, Musical Director “Kate Street Mob” Big Band
” Once again the 4th of July was another cracker. A full house enjoyed Herb Armstrong and his hot band The Royal Street Krewe. The band started with West End Blues and the trumpet work by Brad Esbensen was superb…”
Neil Walsh, Brisbane Jazz Club
“Dear Brad, …that Hollies song has stayed in my mind as clear as a bell all week. You have got to play more often at the club. You are a very very good player. That song was transcendental for me…”.
-Arthur Marcel, Brisbane Jazz Club
“I love Traffic Jam even though it is a bit tough! The voicing is really nice with some great chords. Well Done!”
– David Adelt, Instrumental Music Instructor, Education Queensland
“Traffic Jam is a good chart – it’s interesting and challenging.”
-David Humphreys, Adjudicator, Australian Academy Festival of Music 2005
“Brad Esbensen’s arrangement of AM I BLUE? was very well received by both Dizzy’s and Out for the Count big bands.”
– Constance Lansberg, Singer, Melbourne.