"Home is where one starts from."
- T.S. Eliot
Brad Macdonald has been making music for most of his life. He grew up in the small southern Illinois town of Collinsville, and at an early age, he was drawn to the old spinet piano in his childhood home. He soon began a love affair with music that would become a life-long passion. Because of his parents' polarized tastes in music, Brad grew up loving a broad range of music, from the folk-inspired storytelling of Jim Croce and Kris Kristofferson, to the virtuosic improvisational jazz of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk; from the foot-stomping country of Garth Brooks and Waylon Jennings, to the classic masterpieces of Mozart and Grieg.
Brad’s early musical and performance training included involvement in his school band, choir, and theater programs, as well as private lessons in both piano and trumpet. Among the many exceptional teachers he was fortunate to work with were Terry Van, one of his earliest musical mentors, and Carolbeth True, a St. Louis jazz icon. With the guidance of Van, True, and others, he earned a scholarship to Elmhurst College, a small liberal arts school just outside of Chicago. It was here that he began to find his voice as a singer and composer. Working with instructors Doug Beach and Sue Moninger, Brad was given a wide array of performance opportunities in Elmhurst’s jazz and choir programs, helping him mature into a well-rounded entertainer. He also began writing a variety of original music, mostly for his instrumental jazz ensembles, but his love of stories inspired him to begin exploring songwriting.
After finishing his degree in Jazz performance from Elmhurst, Brad continued his studies in the Jazz Composition graduate program at DePaul University. Moving to the north side of Chicago afforded many new opportunities and experiences, and the diversity of the music scene inspired him to take a leap of faith, deciding that he had to find a way to share his music with the world.
As a pianist, singer, and songwriter, currently based in Chicago, Brad has developed a style that blends the country roots & folk influences of Jim Croce with the urban rhythm & blues style of Ray Charles. With a diverse musical vocabulary, years of experience and training, and a unique message to share, Brad Macdonald is a creative voice on the rise, and he hopes you’ll come along for the ride. His latest album, “Back Home To You”, released on December 19, 2019, is a compilation of down-to-earth stories about life, love, and loss that you’re sure to relate to, and Brad’s beyond excited to share these stories with you!