Bryan Hooten is a trombonist, composer, vocalist and educator who performs with a variety of ensembles from across the musical spectrum. Hooten’s debut solo trombone album, Richmond Love Call, features his pioneering work in multiphonics and overtone singing through original compositions, improvisations and jazz standards. Richmond Love Call was also placed on the ballot for Debut Album in the 6th Annual Jazz Critics Poll. Hooten also records and performs with Richmond-based No BS! Brass, who recently release its sixth studio album, Brass Knuckles. No BS! Brass was recently named to the Mid Atlantic Arts touring roster. Hooten played trombone in the eight-piece group, Fight the Big Bull who has been called “refreshingly original and, at many points, breathtaking” by All About Jazz New York. With this group he has shared the stage with Ken Vandermark, Steven Bernstein, David Karsten Daniels, Megafaun and Bon Iver, including performances at Undead Jazzfest, Duke Performances, and the MusicNow Festival and at the Kennedy Center. Hooten serves as a house musicians for Richmond’s Spacebomb Records, having made recordings with Mountain Goats, Karl Blau, Matthew White, Natalie Prass and Joe Westerlund of Megafaun. Hooten plays trombone and composes for Ombak, described by www.bagatellen.com as “an extraordinarily unique group, a swaggering quartet that chomps and bellows like Albert Mangelsdorff fronting prog-rock.” Ombak’s albums, Framing the Void and Fan Bricks have earned rave reviews from local and national media. His participation in the Sounds of the South Project with Fight the Big Bull, Megafaun, and Justin Vernon has taken him to the Sydney Opera House as well as music festivals in the Eastern U.S. Hooten is a former member of the acclaimed salsa band Bio Ritmo, with whom he toured the United States and Puerto Rico and performed at such landmarks as Lincoln Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Hooten’s performing and composing earned him an invitation to the 2012 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music and he served as guest artist at the 2013 Mars Hill New Music Festival. In spring 2013, Hooten participated in the Tasmeem Doha Middle-East Art and Design Conference.
Hooten composes and arranges for small and large jazz and chamber groups, symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, chorus, marching band and solo trombone/bass trombone. He has written for such jazz luminaries as Seamus Blake and Scott Colley as well as VCU’s own Rex Richardson and his work has been published by the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.
As an educator, Hooten currently serves as Middle and Upper School Band director at Collegiate School in Richmond, VA. He formerly taught Jazz Orchestra II and Music Theory at VCU. He is the former director of the James River High School Jazz Band, trombone teacher at Hanover High School and assistant director of the Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band. He is a former faculty member of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts where he taught brass ensembles and courses on music theory, salsa music and Zen Buddhism. He has also served as an adjudicator/clinician at the Tri-State Jazz Festival at James Madison University and director of an Alabama All-State Jazz Band .
Hooten studied jazz and classical trombone at the University of Southern Mississippi, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies in 2004. In 2006 he earned a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at Virginia Commonwealth University. Hooten teaches Vinyasa yoga and meditation at Ashtanga Yoga Richmond and recently earned his RYT 200 hr certification through YogaWorks. He serves on the board of the non-profit organization, Project Yoga Richmond.