Brent in 2016 playing a fan-fretted mandolin.
April 6, 1976|
Queens, New York
|Genres||Classical, folk, jazz, bluegrass, experimental|
|Instruments||mandolin, guitar, violin|
|Labels||Sunnyside Records, Vienna Modern Masters, orlando records|
|9 Horses, Regina Spektor, Erin McKeown, Jewel, Sara Caswell, International Contemporary Ensemble|
Joseph Frederick Brent (born April 6, 1976) is an American composer, mandolinist, multi-instrumentalist, and teacher. He is known for his performances and arrangements of rock and indie songs, as well as his original compositions with the ensemble 9 Horses. He teaches classical mandolin at Mannes College.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Brent is active as a sideman in several rock, jazz, bluegrass, and folk ensembles, most notably with Regina Spektor,Jewel, Kishi Bashi,Gary Smulyan, and various artists centered on the Brooklyn folk music scene.
Brent also records and has performed with symphony orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Symphony,Chicago Symphony,International Contemporary Ensemble, nunc, and the New World Symphony.
On October 16, 2015, Brent's improvising ensemble 9 Horses, featuring violinist Sara Caswell and bassist Shawn Conley released their debut album Perfectest Herald on Sunnyside Records, and in 2016 were the winners of the 21CM LAUNCH: Emerging Artists Competition.
Brent has published two books of mandolin pedagogy, Scales and Arpeggios for Mandolin and Orchestral and Chamber Excerpts for Mandolin, and his book of transcriptions of the lute music of John Dowland for two mandolins, conceived with Alon Sariel, was published in 2015 by paladino music.
In 2008, Brent collaborated with Nova Scotia-based luthier Brian Dean to design a grand concert mandolin he named 'Pähkinä', which is Finnish for 'nut', a reference to the walnut top of the instrument. Among the instrument's many distinctive features are the walnut/maple/spruce wood combination, a zero fret, a semi-lute construction with minimal bracing, a built-in tone guard with a sound pressure relief hole cut into the back, and ornate f-holes which reach around the sides of the instrument. Dean has since built a 10-string version of this model nicknamed 'Kumí', which is currently Brent's primary acoustic instrument. In 2016, Vermont-based luthier Adam Buchwald built him a 5-string, fanned fret electric mandolin.
|1997||Rob Giles||Straight Down a Crooked Road||violin, string arrangements|
|2002||Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt||Roadside (original cast recording)||mandolin, violin, guitar, banjo|
|2006||Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris||2006 off-Broadway revival cast recording||mandolin, violin|
|2008||Lindsay Katt||Picking Out Boxes||violin|
|2010||Regina Spektor||Live In London||violin|
|Joseph Stein & Stan Daniels||Enter Laughing (original cast recording)||violin|
|2012||Bryan Dunn||Sweetheart of the Music Hall||mandolin, vocals|
|Miller & Tysen||Fugitive Songs||mandolin, violin|
|2013||Kishi Bashi||7" Box Set||violin|
|Erin McKeown||MANIFESTRA||violin, piano, string arrangements|
|Kelli Rae Powell||Live at Jalopy||mandolin, violin|
|Gary Smulyan||Bella Napoli||mandolin, violin|
|2014||Lauren Kinhan||Circle in a Square||violin|
|2015||Maxine Linehan||Beautiful Songs||mandolin, percussion, violin|
|Andi Rae Healy||If You Want To Be My Man||mandolin|
|King Radio||King Radio||mandolin, violin|
|Kishi Bashi||String Quartet Live!||mandolin, violin|
|2016||Kishi Bashi||The Fourth Phase (Original Soundtrack)||violin|
|2018||Various Artists||I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas||electric mandolin, string arrangements with Erin McKeown on 'Jenny'|