Brian Blade is a jazz drummer who has played with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, saxophone great Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and producer-musician Daniel Lanois.
Since 1997, when he's had time, Brian has been recording with a group called Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band. Their latest album Landmarks was nominated for a Grammy.
Blade grew up with gospel and praise music at the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., where his father is the long-standing pastor. Blade grew up playing the violin, but followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Brady Blade, Jr., and took over the drums in the church band.
Blade has carried the tradition into his work with the Fellowship Band. On Landmarks, Blade says they were able to come up with their own rendition of the traditional song 'Shenandoah'.
"I hope that the music that I'm a part of, particularly the fellowship band, that it does reach people in this way, in this sort of praise from the heart, and praise from the spirit, and in turn, lifting us up. "
Blade won a Grammy this year for his work with the Chick Corea Trio.
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band play UNC's Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill tonight.