the power of music
With a little help from my friends
Who is Professor B? Connecticut native Fred Brown has gone by this moniker for years as a keyboardist in a local reggae band.
Pushing forward with positive results after a life threatening illness, Brown felt its time to step up the game with an original act “Professor B and the Army of Love”
Where does all this love come from? You’ll find it in people who have gone through hard times and come out on the other side. Fred Brown is a cancer survivor and believes the best healer in life is music. “I am taking this opportunity of life, gathering my experiences, and strictly focusing on my own original music that has a positive, uplifting, universal vibe and moving it forward” says Brown.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut to a blue-collar family, Brown’s mother won a raffle of accordion lessons and gave them to his older sister. After her disinterest, the 4-year-old Brown was next in line and it was there that the musical spark was lit. Whether it was a guitar, piano, organ, or simply banging on cardboard boxes, he wanted to get his hands on it. When with his dad at times playing cards at social clubs, he often found an old piano in the next room, which opened the door to a great opportunity.
Throughout his childhood, Brown was exposed to everything from Rock-Roll, Motown, and Country to the many greats of the Classical era, and finally got the opportunity to join the drum corps in elementary school. Although he never had any formal training, Brown found himself always surrounded by musicians.
Brown filled his time with going to live shows and really honing in on the technique of the players he was watching. His chance finally came many years later when he was invited to fill an act as a duo with a friend. From there another invite (circa 80’s) as 2nd guitarist in the local r&b band First Approach, which landed Brown a permanent gig for a while traveling the tri-state area of Mass, Ct, and NY “Those guys got me out of sneakers, and put me in shoes” says Brown.
He also found time to volunteer as DJ for local groups within the United Way, St Luke Society, Fellowship House and so many more, also many weddings and celebrations, even a function for the United States Army Reserve. Brown has continually expressed positive vibes through music.
Years of live performances with many bands followed including fundraisers, TV broadcasts, also an invitation from his friend Michael Mills, for an appearance singing with a 1000 Voice Choir for the World Special Olympics at Yale Field that included in the audience, President of the United States Bill Clinton and family in 1995. A major line up of stars on stage which included Hootie and the Blowfish, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Those days Brown also volunteered as usher for NHSO in Woolsey Hall also at Yale
During that time while working a day job, his evenings were filled working the door at a local music venue, the earlier years of Cafe Nine and later bartending, also contributing his part in keeping the place open. “I don’t drink, but sure did share some very special moments that I value for life, and through those doors, I met some wonderful people with whom I value friendships with today” says Brown. It was also there that he met some local reggae players and formed the I.N.I.T.Y reggae band. Fourteen years later and they’re still performing.
After suffering two bouts of cancer in 2011 and 2013, there was many challenges sent before him, Brown declared “I know so many people that need treatment of some kind, to waste this opportunity of life is a sin against humanity. That’s when I decided I needed to go into battle.” With support from his community, friends, along side the Cab Calloway Foundation, they spear headed two different benefits that were held in his name and the outpouring of love was so overwhelming that it is his life’s mission to continue his musical journeys to spread that love and harmony to others. Brown has since joined forces with another long time friend Vic Steffens of Horizon Music Group to record his first LP that has been a long time coming.