Born out of their common love for fiery funk music and authentic soul, The Brooks have steadily been cumulating successes since their beginnings in 2013. In addition to their three-month residency, which ended up lasting almost three years, at the «Dièze Onze» - a legendary jazz bar in Montreal, The Brooks recently impressed the crowds at Montreal’s International Jazz Festival. First by opening for Charles Bradley at the Metropolis, and then by playing 2 memorable shows on the main stage of the festival. During last year’s edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival, we saw them electrifying the stage at the Bell Center where they opened for The Doobie Brothers. They also played La Place des Arts with Kool & The Gang, and put out an incredible performance during a dazzling tribute to the late Prince at the Metropolis.
Their first instrumental opus «Adult Entertainment» was released in 2014 and their highly anticipated second album called «Pain & Bliss», which presented a more mature and refined sound, was released in 2016. Wherever The Brooks go, they leave their audience captivated by their talent and dynamism, worthy of some of the biggest names in the Funk, Soul and R&B scene.
The key to their success lies in the artistic background of each member of the group. The instigator of the project is bassist Alexandre Lapointe, whom we have seen alongside renowned local artists such as Betty Bonifassi, Nadja, Black Diamond Bay and BLOU, to name a few. Influenced by the playing of legendary bassists such as James Jamerson, Pino Palladino and Paul McCartney, as well as bands such as The Meters, The Rolling Stones and The Funk Brothers, Lapointe meticulously perfected his musical vocabulary, leaning towards a more «vintage» style tone.
On drums is Maxime Bellavance, from the original Beat Market duo, whose playing could be described as retro-futuristic and dancy. His talent and incredible groove can be heard on several albums from Canadian artists, such as Brigitte Boisjoli, Karim Diouf, King Melrose as well as a few underground projects.
Also part of the band is guitar player, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Philippe Look. His experience as a session musician for the last 20 years has allowed him to collaborate and record with Ellie Goulding, Yann Perreau, Elsiane, Kali & Dub, and many others. He is the founding member of The Brooks, and also a songwriter on many of their work.
Keyboard player Daniel Thouin is very well know, for he has played with almost everyone who gravitates around the Montreal jazz scene. Since 2000, he has shifted his attention from the acoustic piano to focus on the ethereal sounds of synthesizers. New technologies are a driving force for him as well as a source of inspiration and stimulation that pushes him to redefine the limits of his improvisation skills. As a director, musician and producer, his key collaborations include Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gary Willis, Kirk Covington, Seamus Blake, Charles Papasoff, Karen Young and Michel Donato.
Being both a saxophonist and a composer, Sébastien Grenier also holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in interpretation. Inspired by the sounds of Funk, Soul and Blues, he has been working for 20 years with several renowned artists around the world, both on stage and in studio. His experience reflects an original musical style, making him an indispensable musician in the Funk and Soul scenes.
Hichem Khalfa is a trumpet player, native from France, who begun studying his instrument at the early age of 7 years old. He first attended the musical conservatory, then the Haute École de Musique, all the way up to McGill University. He won a prize at the Rimouski International Jazz Festival and the François Marcaurelle Prize at the Off Festival de Montréal in 2016, following the release of 2 successful jazz quintet albums on which he played. We’ve seen him with various bands around the world, including Kadebostany, Blitz the Ambassador, Nomadic Massive, Rhonda Ross and Kalmunity.
Being known as a multi-percussionist and and an active member of the Montreal scene for several years, Philippe Beaudin also has a Bachelor’s degree in Latin percussion. He perfected his technique with famous players such as Paul Picard, Harouna Dembélé and Hans Longpré. His rhythmic style is also heavily influenced by African, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussions.He is also a teacher, and his work is showcased in several musical projects, film music projects, TV shows and on the international scene.
Last but not least is the famous Alan Prater. Known for sharing the stage with Michael Jackson during the Thriller era, and before that with The Jackson Five as trumpet player, the Florida-born singer-songwriter has traveled the world and is now considered a key member of Montreal’s jazz music scene. He is the cornerstone of the group, indispensable for his groove, his voice and his incredible charisma.