Brian Choper —“The Entertainer’s Career Coach”
Brian Choper, the founder of Gigs For You and Washington’s Entertainment Connection, is a multi-faceted individual who has formal training in business (marketing and public relations) and in music. He is a classically trained drummer/percussionist with more than 30 years experience in music both nationally and internationally. He has performed both as guest artist and as band leader since 1997. In 2001, he started his own bands. He currently plays with four regular bands of his own while freelancing in many genres including Rock & Roll, Latin, Swing, Jazz, Balkan and Klezmer. He is featured on 9 CD’s, three of which he produced.
For much of his professional career, Brian has used his public relations skills and training to market the bands for which he performs. It is no coincidence that any of the bands with which Brian either runs or has worked with have enjoyed success for so many years. Brian’s influence transcends his musical skills. Through his hands-on support, guidance and instruction, these bands did not wait for success to knock-they went after it.
Exploring Ethnic Music, Jazz And Rock & Roll
In 1983, Brian won first prize at the Vienna International Music Festival for classical timpani. While in college, Brian studied with George Huttlin and Marshall Maley, drummer /percussionist, head of PAS VA. 1983 – 1985 Brian studied with the late drummer Buddy Rich in New York. From 1984 – 1989, Brian freelanced, playing shows and Ragtime in various bands and theatre groups, all while working with the Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Interested in ethnic music, in 1985 Brian became the first drummer to play with the Capital Klezmers, at the time, one of the top three Folk bands in the country. Upon leaving this band in 1989, he joined the Machaya Klezmer Band as percussionist and set drummer. In 1992, Brian was selected to participate in the International Music Festival in Safed, Israel.
The Machaya Klezmer Band was not as well known when Brian first joined it, but he loved their sound and was confident that the band had the potential to attain national recognition. Just as in his first Klezmer band experience, this band also had never performed with a drummer, and Brian thought he might be able to add color to their sound by introducing some creative rhythms. This band had already cut one album before he joined the group. Brian produced the group’s second CD (entitled “What A Machaya”), and is also featured on it. This CD became the number two selling Folk album for 1997 (on the folk charts) and was rated as such in the prestigious Moment Magazine (August, 1997). As a result of Brian’s public relations efforts and recognition with record distributors, the Machaya Klezmer Band soon became one of the top billing Folk bands in the country.
From 1997 through 2001, while still playing as a member of Machaya, Brian joined Nexus, a highly respected local Rock Band. During this time he did a lot of traveling throughout the United States and to Israel, Austria, Germany and other European countries while on tour with his regular bands and as a guest musician with other ensembles.
Managing Bands of His Own and Helping Other Bands Find Work on the Side
As Brian became more and more interested in Jazz drumming, in 2001 he left Machaya, and after performing at the Lansing Michigan Jazz Festival that Fall and meeting many of the performers attending, he decided to work with some of them and start his own Jazz/Klezmer band, and the Kol Haruach Klezmer Band (www.kolharuach.com and www.newklezmerquintet.com) was born. In 2003, following the success of this Klezmer band, with his continued intrigue with Jazz and classic Rock & Roll, he organized The Choper Jazz Project, The Jazz Connection, and The Nexus Rock Band. (Nexus is named after his 1997 Rock band, a group that has become one of his favorites.)
The Choper Jazz Project (www.choperjazzproject.com) plays more straight up Jazz, The Jazz Connection (www.the-jazz-connection.com) plays upbeat Swing, and Nexus (www.NexusRockBand.com) plays the Pop Rock and the complex Rock & Roll of the 70’s and 80’s, with a twist of improvisation. Brian is currently working on new releases for all of these groups.
See Brian’s personal website at www.brianchoper.com
To contact Brian directly call him at 301-441-8899 or 301-658-6428.
Brian has always provided business advice to bands and band leaders as they have approached him. Feel free to blog him at: http://www.brianchoper.com/brians-blog/