Rick BraunView in iTunes
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A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, trumpeter Rick Braun first surfaced as a member of the jazz-fusion outfit Auracle, formed while he was a student at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. After two LPs the group disbanded, and Braun turned to songwriting, scoring a hit with REO Speedwagon's "Here with Me"; in time he directed his focus to contemporary jazz, issuing his solo debut, Intimate Secrets, in 1993. After touring with Sade, he returned in 1994 with Night Walk as well as the seasonal release Christmas Present. With 1995's Beat Street, Braun's popularity continued to snowball, with 1996's smash Body and Soul launching the NAC chart-topper "Notorious." A two-time winner of the Gavin Report's Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year award, he returned in 1998 with Full Stride. He also collaborated with Boney James on the 2000 release Shake It Up. Kisses in the Rain followed a year later, and Braun continued issuing albums throughout the decade of the 2000s, including Esperanto in 2003, Sessions, Vol. 1 in 2004, Yours Truly in 2005, RnR (a duo set co-led by saxophonist Richard Elliot) in 2007, and All It Takes in 2009. Braun offered up a change-of-pace recording in 2011 with the self-explanatory Sings with Strings, an album of standards featuring string charts by Philippe Saisse. In 2104, Braun returned to the groove-oriented instrumental smooth jazz of his early work with Can You Feel It. ~ Jason Ankeny