CTAC Presents: Mr. B
February 10, 2024 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
“B doles out more deep blues… What separates B’s shopworn riffs from those of a thousand other piano players are his patience—he is never in a hurry—and that weird intangible we write off as ‘feel,’ which invest the ancient licks with a kind of slow-motion urgency. Too many bluesers get no further into the style than the surface; B seems to have been rooted in it since tripping across his first flatted third.” — Keyboard Magazine, review: My Sunday Best “(Mr. B) had the audience from the moment he started playing…” — Jeff Daniels and Friends, 2008
Blues and boogie-woogie pianist Mark Lincoln Braun has become one of the premiere purveyors of a vanishing art. Having learned his craft first-hand from the early masters, he is a rare living link to the first generation of blues and boogie pianists. Steeped in the rich legacy of this tremendously exciting music, Mr. B learned directly from blues and boogie legends like Little Brother Montgomery, Boogie Woogie Red, and Blind John Davis. In demand for both educational programs and concert performances, he has performed coast to coast and throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico, and South America. In 2002 he was a guest artist at the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. He is also theorganizer of the annual Mr. B’s Blues and Boogie Piano Celebration that attracts major figures in the blues and jazz piano world to Ann Arbor for collaborative performances with Mr. B. Mark Lincoln Braun was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He gravitated to Ann Arbor in the 70s where the Blind Pig was an important venue for boogie and blues piano. While absorbing the tradition and developing his own approach, Mr. B was also listening to a variety of jazz pianists, especially those with strong blues roots such as Ray Bryant and Horace Silver. This broad range of interests enables him to feel equally at home playing boogie woogie classics with authentic fervor, and expanding the tradition into lively new settings, including jazz orchestra. Today he further promotes his art and breaks down stylistic barriers by frequently collaborating with such world renowned mainstream jazz pianists as Monty Alexander, Henry Butler, Benny Green, Ray Bryant, Sir Charles Thompson, and Junior Mance. He has appeared on numerous National Public Radio broadcasts, including “Mountain Stage,” “Good Evening,” “Our Front Porch,” “The Flea Market,” “At the Bride,” and “All Things Considered.”and once even on screen for an upcoming (undisclosed) Netflix series.
This concert is a part of Downtown Sound, a collaboration between Crooked Tree Arts Center and Blissfest Music Organization. The 16-show concert series in Downtown Petoskey features nationally touring acts and local favorites from Michigan’s vibrant music scene and is held in CTAC’s 220-seat theater.