The Crumpler name is usually heard gracing the ESPN sports channels, Sports Illustrated Magazine, and the globules of Fantasy Football and NFL fan forums blogging about big butts. Yes, the All-Star Crumpler's have big butts (despite that most of them literally have made careers as "tight ends"), and the case is no different for 29-yr old, all-star clarinetist Bryan A. Crumpler, the youngest of a family of NFL football stars.
Having never been good at facing 300-lbs human bulldozers (and always tossing Spaldings over backboards), Bryan took to a less barbaric playing field, the concert stage, where he has been maturing and sharing his gift of "clarinetistry" for nearly two decades.
Music was not entirely strange to the fam however. Bryan's great aunt Carlena Williams was a longstanding vocalist who, for years, toured and recorded withPink Floyd, Etta James, Van Morrison, Ike & Tina Turner, Donna Summer, and Humble Pie. His mother Gertha was a flutist; and his brothers Alge and Carlester, hobbyists on the saxophone and trombone.
Bryan's instrumental talents earned him his debut as a concert soloist, however, with the Wilmington Symphony at age 15, just 2.5 years after beginning the clarinet. He had won the symphony's concerto competition at age 14 after learning Mozart's Clarinet Concerto by ear from a $4.00 cassette tape that his mother bought for him at a local gas station. He had never seen the sheet music.
Now, having studied with master clarinetists throughout the world and won prizes in a myriad of international young artist competitions, he has built a performance career spanning 4 continents and nearly 100 major venues across the United States, Europe, China and South Africa. He has performed for Kings & Queens, Chancellors, Embassy representatives, Katrina survivors; and has collaborated with musicians from the Bamberger Symfoniker, Ciurlionis String Quartet, Flemish Radio Orchestra, and Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra among others. He also composes, improvises, teaches, records, and is an entrepreneur.
Concertmaster Liviu Prunaru of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and master pianist/conductor/composer Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky have praised him for his enthusiastic performances. From his 2008 solo tour in South Africa, he was lauded as “an Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma equivalent”, with aspects of his cantabile style as a holy-like, near-death experience... being “the closest one can get to God without dying". Celebrated jazz great Branford Marsalis put it simply: “Heʼs a real musician.”
In 2006 he became a laureate of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, having placed third in the 14th Dos Hermanas International Clarinet Competition in Sevilla, Spain. He is the first and only black clarinetist in the world to have become a WFIMC laureate as a soloist.
Bryan was a Morehead Scholar (now known as the Morehead-Cain), Joe Martin Bank of America Scholar, and Elks National Foundation Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Option and directed his studies towards virtual reality and human-computer interaction under the advisement of Associate Professor Mary Whitton and Turing Award Winner Dr. Fred Brooks. He complemented his studies with partial minors in Chemistry and Applied Music. He took up continuing studies in 2004 in Music Performance at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent in Belgium.
An ever present struggle to survive in a world where entertainment is a desire and a luxury moreso than a need has led Bryan to focus on innovation with clear purpose, i.e. developing products that solve problems. More specifically, Bryan is a thinker on a quest to find innovative ways to solve problems in the music world, integrating revolutionary technology in the process.
Bryan is currently a performing artist, composer/arranger, and Clarinet Teaching Artist for the Atlanta Music Project and AMP Academy where he serves in his capacity to provide classical music lessons as a vehicle for social change in at-risk, low-income, impoverished communities of southwest Atlanta, thanks in part to the work of 2009 Abreu fellow Mr. Dantes Rameau and Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu's 2009 TED Prize Wish.
Solving Problems, Music, Cultural Learning, Language, Innovation in Music Technology, Multiple Intelligence
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