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Saxophone Lessons with Rulon Brown

Beginning Saxophone Lessons Topics

  • Putting together the sax, reed, mouthpiece, etc.
  • How to swab and clean your saxophone
  • Adjusting the sax & neck strap for comfort & control
  • Suction test of reed & mouthpiece 
  • Making your first sounds
  • Mouth shape (embouchure)
  • Tongue & articulation technique
  • Power breathing (diaphragm breathing)

Pitch Bend and Vibrato
Rulon Brown shares his “Wah Wah” sax exercise to improve tone, flexibility, vibrato, scoops, bends, falls and more.

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Nick Torretta Quintet at Egan’s

All Ages & Family Friendly
Friday September 28th at 7:00 PM, $5 cover
Egan’s Ballard Jam House
1707 NW Market St
Seattle, Washington
Reservations: (206) 789-1621

Enjoy an evening of jazz curated from the finest tunes by West Coast masters Lee Konitz, Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh as well as originals. Featuring Nick Torretta on tenor and alto sax, Rulon Brown on alto sax and flute, Ronan Delisle on guitar, Xavier D. Lecouturier on drums and Tony Lefaive on bass.

West Coast “cool” jazz is beloved for mixing lush harmony, complex counterpoint, and playful melodicism.

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The Morgan “GM” Bari Sax Mouthpiece

Morgan Mouthpiece Company sent me one of their new “GM” bari sax mouthpieces and I am happy to share this review.

They call it the “GM” because it’s a hybrid of the classic MC Gregory and a Morgan mouthpiece. The MC Gregory mouthpiece company went out of business years ago but only after the bari master Gerry Mulligan made their mouthpieces famous.  Morgan Mouthpiece Company obtained the old original Gregory molds, cleaned them up and are refreshing this classic mouthpiece with their own unique twist. The mouthpiece is all hand-made from organic hard rubber.  The tone is warm and lush, the articulation and intonation is exceptional. It works well on modern horns but seems to also work great for vintage horns like Bueschers or Conn. It’s trendy right now for players to use a “paint scraper” mouthpiece made of metal with extreme baffles and tone gimmicks that create super-loud, one-dimensional pop. This bari sax mouthpiece is NOT that. It has a gentle roll-over baffle and more tonal color and flexibility to spare. This piece will shine in a focused listening environment, chamber or studio session. Anywhere people are actually listening for tonal color and warmth, this bari sax mouthpiece has a home!

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Carbon Quartet featuring Rulon Brown at Wayward Music Series

March 9, 2017 | 8:00 PM | $5 – $15 donation at the door

Carbon Quartet is a saxophone foursome that performs some of the most exciting and dynamic quartet music on the planet. From jazz to classical to Latin, Carbon Quartet will tackle anything. Rulon Brown (soprano sax), Nick Torretta (alto sax), Kevin Nortness (tenor sax) and Chris Credit (baritone sax).

After Carbon Quartet , stick around for “THE MONSTER” – a new musical theater experience from Honey Noble.

The Chapel Performance Space on the fourth floor of the Good Shepherd Center.
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.
Seattle WA, 98103
(SW corner of 50th & Sunnyside in Wallingford, Nearest Metro stops: 16, 44, 26)

Honey Noble and Carbon Quartet at The Chapel

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Carbon Quartet featuring Rulon Brown – Spite House Concert

Rulon Brown (soprano sax), Chris Credit (bari sax), Kevin Nortness (tenor sax), Nick Torretta (alto sax)
Spite House
1513 14th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
Between E. Pine & Pike behind the brown gate on the west side of the street between the dry cleaners and 14th ave hair.

8pm – doors

8:30pm – House Band duo set
9:30pm – !!! Carbon Quartet !!!
10:30pm – people form duos and trios to improvise a piece
11:30pm – opens up to all folks to keep playing as long as they want

There’s a $20 suggested donation, but people are encouraged to give whatever they can and no one turned away. There will be food and beverage in the kitchen so it’s super family style and the audience is very present. Bring anything you’d like to share with the group.

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Rulon Brown joins Rock Lottery, Feb. 20 at The Crocodile

Rulon Brown takes part in Seattle Rock LotterySEATTLE ROCK LOTTERY 08
The Crocodile (2118 2nd Ave, Belltown)
Saturday, February 20, 2016
A Benefit for Totem Star
Doors open at 9pm, show starts promptly at 10pm
$10 advance / $15 at door (21+)
Hosted by Selena Whitaker-Paquiet

The Rock Lottery is simple, but effective. Twenty-five hand-picked musicians meet at 10:00AM at the evening’s performance venue. These volunteers are organized into five bands through a lottery-based chance selection. The five groups are released to practice at different locations. The musicians have twelve hours to agree upon a band name and create three to five songs (with a one cover song limit). The bands then return to the venue and perform what they have created in front of a waiting audience.

The twenty-five musicians included in this experiment are carefully selected in an attempt to represent a wide variety of musical styles. This event will bring together many facets of the music community that may seem incompatible, as well as musicians whose interests may conflict. The challenge for these participants is to go beyond their personal and musical differences and work together to create a unified group project that still contains the personal styles of each of its members.

Owuor Arunga (The Young Lions)
Lucy Atkinson (Kinski)
Jim Biggs (Black Nite Crash)
Adam Boehmer (Tenderfoot)
Rulon Brown (Rulon Brown Band)
Jeremy Buller (Bosque Brown, OK Sweetheart)
Nic Danielson (Ravenna Woods)
Taryn Dorsey (Wiscon)
Lupe Flores (Wild Powwers, Tacos!)
Annie Ford (The Annie Ford Band)
Mikey Gervais (Mikey and Matty)
Gary Palmer (Gems)
Dan Peters (Mudhoney, The Tripwires)
SassyBlack (Thee Satisfaction)
Grant Schroff (The Polyrhythmics)
Joe Slaby (Yves)
Otieno Terry (Otieno Terry)
Rachel Yoder (Seattle Modern Orchestra, Odd Partials)
And more to be announced…

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NAMM 2016 – All The Music Gear You Could Ever Dream Up!

I had a blast hanging out at the National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) convention this January with my dear friends John & Barb Kagerer of Alaska Music & Sound. My first job (other than my sub-zero Alaska morning paper route) was apprenticing in band instrument repair with John. I’d never been to NAMM before and I went to do research for the music care product I’m developing (more news on that in 2017).

NAMM was a trip! The convention center and hotel were overflowing with every kind of music making device you can imagine. There were great musicians showing off gear, testing out gear, and just hanging out. I met a ton of new friends and hung out a Cannonball Musical Instruments 20th Anniversary Celebration featuring a mega jam with Najee, Gerald Albright, Keith Anderson, Elan Trotman, and more. Cannonball Musical Instruments 20th Anniversary CelebrationI was blown away by Elan Trotman‘s and Vince Norman‘s playing, Najee’s inspiring flute chops (I had no idea), and stunned at how Gerald Albright’s altísimo playing got more crystal as the night went on!  Thanks again to Tevis and Sheryl for welcoming me to the Cannonball family.

Leon James, who hosts jazz page, snapped this pic of me at the daCarbo booth while I was testing out their carbon fiber alto sax neck. I tested this for quite a while going back and forth between my Mark VI neck. The daCarbo free’d up the harmonic spectrum in pretty stunning ways and made the horn speak very full and centered at volumes of MP or louder. I am eager to see what they do next.

12714249_10207667750065146_2131388596_nAll told, NAMM was an amazingly loud, spectacle-filled few days and I’m glad I went.

Check it out if you can. It’s a great perspective into the products side of the music industry.

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Free Music #5 – The Middle

We’ve eaten our roast meat and sugar cakes, sent fire into the air, sung anthems, covered hearts, and convened a national toast. Hopefully somewhere in all this we considered the ideas and sacrifice that fuel the American experiment.

So on this “back to work” Monday, I share my tribute to one of America’s greatest yet most endangered innovations – The Middle Class. Below are three different versions I’ve created.

THE MIDDLE (band version from VIDA)

THE MIDDLE (solo version from RESTLESS)

THE MIDDLE – Immigrant Dream Remix (solo version from RESTLESS)

Also enjoy these thoughts from a very rich American from Seattle.

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Build Your Own Art Walk – Call for Volunteers

CALLING ALL SAVVY VOLUNTEERS! As part of Rulon Brown’s project, Ripple, the amazing grass roots folks at Feet First will help you build your own free walking tour that blends Ripple music, art, nature, and history about the Sammamish River.

Fee First walk in RedmondFeet First will train you to build your favorite walking tour inspired by Redmond trails, public art, nature, history and parks. Then they promote your walk as part of a Redmond walk series, turning you into a local guru! Tours will also meet up for a secret Ripple concert, Friday night, August 8, 2014.


WHAT: Feet First Neighborhood Walking Ambassador training in Redmond to empower community residents to lead walks in their neighborhoods.
Saturday, July 19 from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at Old Redmond Schoolhouse in Redmond.
Saturday, August 2 from 10:30am-1:00pm in North Seattle

Continue reading Build Your Own Art Walk – Call for Volunteers

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Rulon’s art and music at Seattle Art Museum – June 6, 2014

SAM Remix logoRemix is a creative party at Seattle Art Museum, packed with performances, talks, art making, dancing, and more—all connected to SAM’s collection. The next Remix is Friday, June 6, 2014 and Rulon Brown’s RESTLESS interactive visual art installation will be there and he’ll share four performances. Also at the Remix: DJ Sassyblack (aka Cat of THEESatisfaction) spins music, Dana Landon and Ana Maria Pinto da Silva lead highly opinionated My Favorite Things Tours, and you can get creative with art activities and get down on the dance floor!

Tickets are going fast. Get yours today!

WHEN: 8 pm–midnight, Friday, June 6, 2014
WHERE: Seattle Art Museum
More information >>
TICKETS: SAM members: $12Adults: $25Students: $20
This event is open to guests ages 18+.

Find SAM Remix on Facebook
Use hashtag #SAMRemix for Twitter & Instagram

This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture.
4culture_color with lodging tax

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Souper Fundraiser – Paul Rucker Birthday Celebration – May 1, 2014

Andy Warhol Limited-edition Soup Cans

Thursday, May 1, 2014, I’ll share new music for sax and flute at a Souper Fundraiser/Birthday Celebration for my friend and bandmate, Paul Rucker. Paul is not only a great musician, he’s also critically acclaimed visual artist working on his most ambitious artwork yet! This party is a chance to hang with friends, eat amazing soup created by Maxime Bilet (co-author of Modernist Cuisine), toast the birthday boy, and help him fundraise for Recapitulation (Paul’s artworks that show the parallels between slavery and the contemporary prison industrial complex).


Souper Fundraiser – Birthday Celebration
WHEN: 5-8pm, May 1, 2014
WHERE:Open Studio Project
301 Occidental Avenue South (and Main)
Seattle, WA 98104

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Rulon @ Serendipity Lounge with David Harrison & Nate Omdal

7 – 10 pm, Friday, May. 2, 2014 I am playing with guitarist and visual artist David Harrison and bassist Nate Omdal at Seattle’s Serendipity Cafe & Lounge (21+); located in the heart of the Magnolia neighborhood and well worth the trip.
3222 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199 

David HarrisionBassist, Nate Omdal

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Free Music #4 – “Save The Moon”


At high noon on April 22, one hundred and twenty five years ago today, thousands of people rushed to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours, the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie were formed with populations of more than 10,000 souls. The idea was simple, go quick and take what you want from the the edge of our new empire to expand our new empire. Ironically, a few years earlier America committed to another radical community building experiment and dedicated Yellowstone National Park as the world’s first national park. A declaration of common interest in a common good that no one person could possibly own.

I am fascinated by these two very different exercises. I wonder what forces inspire people to lay claim to patches of earth and fight to the death to retain them (even when such claim and warfare mean decimating Native people with priceless ancient culture). And what inspires people to preserve land for the common good, calling it exceptional, worth preserving for all to share.

One of my favorite new songs is Save The Moon. I wrote and recorded it in Traverse City, Michigan during a composer residency for ISLAND – Institute for Sustainable Living Art & Natural Design. This amazing arts and ecology center is dedicated to connecting people with nature, art and community. They asked me to come stay in their wooded cabin and write new music about The Commons – the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth.

Alone in ISLAND’s quiet November cabin, hearing only faint muzzle pops of distant deer hunters, I thought about a more recent American land run. The Cold War, a fervor that sent us racing to the moon to plant a flag. I recalled stories of secret submarines placing a Russian flag on the ocean floor exactly under the North Pole, claiming the most profitable shipping route on earth once we thaw the polar cap.  I wondered, who owned the moon? Because somebody owns the moon, right? And who is going to own and operate the public transit system to space? Who will build the condominiums and sell the luxury cruise packages? Is the moon still a critical concern of the American people, or the new plunder of transnational corporate interest?

Space is the newest edge of empire. I hope we can can see it as more than another patch of ground to claim, divide, sell, and pollute. I hope I’m wrong in thinking that the cold dark side of the moon will become a trash heap for nuclear waste. I hope we will understand the value of a shared moon, clean orbital paths, and natural wonder worth preserving and sharing. Maybe we can be a bit more Swiss.

So I wrote this song as a set of personal questions. Questions about rabid nationalism, manifest destiny, and the immense personal and natural destruction that comes from unchecked private profiteering. My most nagging question is ‘why not more National Park and less Land Run?’ We can be mindful of our irreplaceable as our moon… right?  If so, can we decrease the death, drought, and devastations wrought on this earth for the sake of private water, air, oil, and other earthly treasure? Perhaps we can save the moon. I hope so. But for now, we have NASA-funded space barons.


Free MP3s have expired but you can read posts from #1, #2, and #3.

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Live @ Kenmore Hydroplane Cup, April 5, 2014


Rulon Brown will debut new music for sax and electronics, 10 a.m., Saturday, April 5, 2014 during the Kenmore Hydroplane Cup opening ceremonies at the newly renovated Kenmore Boat Launch along the Sammamish River. This free family event is a toast to the Sammamish River, Native heritage, and Washington’s rich boating culture and hydroplane traditions.

Rulon is building a set of new creations inspired by the Sammamish River and calls the series “Ripple.” The Kenmore Hydroplane Cup will be the first public performance of what Rulon is developing and more will be shared this summer in partnership with 4Culture and King County Parks.

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Free Music #3 – “OK Samaritan”

RESTLESS - Music about American Dreams by Rulon BrownDOWNLOAD HERE

All the other rich democratic societies in the world have found cheaper and more effective ways to care for the sick and dying. Let me say that again because it’s true and may be worth repeating if you grew up believing the right answer is always, “U S A! We’re Number One!”

Every other rich democratic society in the world has found cheaper and more effective ways to care for their sick and dying.

This should chill the blood of American capitalists and inspire deep reflection. Our lack of access to affordable healthcare is a huge economic problem. It is also a troubling sign of our national character. [Read Jesus’ Good Samaritan parable now if you don’t already know it].

America’s peers in the global economy, our peers in democracy building, our peers in technology and innovation, all our modern international peers, understand their people will inevitably face a common problem – sickness and death. Our allies in rich democracies accept the simple truth that everybody gets sick and everybody dies. This universal aspect of everyday life inspired these nations to create universal healthcare systems, systems that are very effective and very affordable. I think these countries adopt national health plans because it expresses their sense of humanity and shows the nations power to help people live healthier, fuller lives. That is the point of civilization… right?

But in America…

Our babies die more often
Our bodies get fatter
Our bodies get shorter
Our lives end sooner
Our diseases become epidemics
Our economy groans under extreme medical bankruptcy
And we spend more for these poor health outcomes than any other nation!

What makes me so sad about this is that it does not have to be! There are better health care systems out there. Systems we can learn from and improve upon.

But until most Americans understand that access to effective and affordable health care is a basic human concern of our shared common good, and until we Americans realize a national health system helps our pursuit of happiness… without these basic understandings, I fear American civilization is morally stalled out. We let greed, fear, and willful ignorance win the day. We cannot as a people ignore the sick and dying and expect to progress. So I wait, anxious, agitated, and itching for more. Sure, I still vote, lobby, donate, and write music to share what I feel. But given our apparent lack of interest in proven solutions to health care… I think we Yanks are in for a long wait.


  • Download and share OK Samaritan. It’s music about medical waiting rooms and wishing for a better healthcare system. Then shut off the music and stop waiting and wishing. Talk to your friends, family, and anyone who will hear you. Tell them you expect America care for it’s sick and dying without going morally and financially bankrupt.
  • Watch the PBS documentary Sick Around The World to learn how smart democratic industrialized nations care for their sick and dying better than America. Democracy grows from personal learning and well-informed opinions.
  • Ask every healthcare professional you meet if they are a member of Physicians for a National Health Program. If not, tell them to investigate and become a member. Remind your healthcare providers that the U.S. is way behind in major health outcomes and you want us to learn from the success of other nations who do it cheaper and better. If you feel silly doing this, remember you are paying more than most people in the world for the chance to chat up a health care professional. Why not take a second of that time you are paying for to tell them how America’s broken health care system effects you!
  • Learn how America’s broken health care fails your neighbors, friends, and family. Great health care systems are rooted in empathy, equity, and access. (special note: If you read the item linked in the last sentence and you can’t think of a neighbor, friend, or family member affected by America’s gross health disparity, please spend more time with people who don’t look like you, talk like you, or shop like you).

Thank you for doing more than just listening!

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Find Rulon Brown hiding in Gigapixel Artzoom from Microsoft

Rulon Brown hiding in plain sight in the new Microsoft Gigapixel Artzoom

Check out Microsoft’s new and see if you can find Rulon Brown hiding in plain sight. The massive megapixel panorama photo features Seattle artists dancing, painting, and playing across the city and is another great test of Microsoft ICE software used to stitch thousands of different photos together.

John Boylan announcing Microsoft Gigapixel Artzoom at Seattle Art Museum

The project was announced last night during a party at Seattle Art Museum and quickly hit tech news bogs and news outlets (read here, here, here, here). This community art project would not be possible without the creative folks at Microsoft Research, Seattle art hound John Boylan, and the super-wrangler-project managers Amy Billharz and Elise Ballard!

The first person to locate Rulon and email him the cross streets of where he is located in the photo will receive three signed CDs.

Gigapixel Artzoom

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Free Music #2 – “Race”

Because this of all days is the closest thing we have to a national reflection about race and how to dissuade ourselves of it’s illusion.

This song is violent, damaged and filled with fear, my portrait of American racism. I wrote and recorded this music in Michigan during a 2012 Hill House composer residency for ISLAND (Institute for Sustainable Living Art & Natural Design). I prefer to say little about this song and just let it speak for itself. You can find it on my new solo album, RESTLESS – music about American Dreams.
RESTLESS - Music about American Dreams by Rulon Brown

If you want to be notified when I post new tunes, please Subscribelikefollow, or google+.

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My year of giving music away – #1

VidaThis year, I will give away my music as singles. Download for free or pay what you want while the song is available. Subscribelikefollow, or google+ to hear when I post new tunes.
Para Tu Vida (For Your Life)
This song began as a tribute to my musical hero, Bobby McFerrin. It came to me one day while I was at the piano singing nonsense and daydreaming about music I’d like to play with Bobby if I ever when I get the chance. My 3-year-old daughter began dancing along to the music so I knew it had the right spirit. Bobby’s motto is “sing for your life.” I borrowed a piece of that wisdom for the title as homage.

Months later, I shared the tune with my band while prepping our U.S. State Department tour of Nicaragua for the 2013 International Jazz Festival. Now, rather than a silly dad yodeling out a tune for his dancing daughter, the song was cranking with Bill‘s crunchy guitar chords, Paul‘s thumping bass and Jeff‘s bubbling beats. We made the song our show closer and tour anthem, tagging it onto our version of the Nicaraguan anthem “Nicaragua Nicaraguita” (check out this fan video). Para Tu Vida became our thank you note to the amazing people of Nicaragua. It also reminds me how it felt to enjoy their great culture and energy. When the band got back to Seattle, we met audio wizard Scott Colburn at Gravelvoice Studios to recorded VIDA.
Rulon Brown and band Recording live at Gravelvoice studios in Seattle.

Why am I sharing this song on New Years Day? It’s bright, driven and carries with it many of my favorite memories from 2013. Plus, who couldn’t dig Bill’s insane guitar distortion ringing out like a new year bell. Hoping your new year is filled with joy and music!

Subscribegoogle+like or follow to hear when I post new tunes.

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Rulon @ Serendipity w/ David Harrison & Nate Omdal – Jan 3, 2013

7 – 10 pm, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 I am playing with guitarist David Harrison and bassist Nate Omdal at Seattle’s Serendipity Cafe & Lounge (21+); located in the heart of the Magnolia neighborhood and well worth the trip.
3222 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199 

David HarrisionBassist, Nate Omdal

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Jewelry at Twilight Gallery

I am happy to announce that a pendant and ring from my Restless jewelry collection are now available at Twilight Gallery until Jan. 6, 2014. UNITED Pendant from Rulon Brown's RESTLESS collectionThese two pieces are from a limited series of 100 and I make each one by hand. People who buy at Twilight will also receive a signed pre-release copy of RESTLESS, my new CD of music inspired by The American Dream. I encourage you to go meet gallery owner Tracy Cilona and enjoy the other great art she shares.

E PLURIBUS UNUM ring by Rulon Brown

Twilight Gallery
4306 SW Alaska Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 933-2444


2013, Rulon Brown
1/100 from the Restless Collection
U.S. coin edges

UNITED, pendant
2013, Rulon Brown
1/100 from the Restless Collection
Silver and U.S. and Canadian coins

UNITED pendant - Rear View with rope chain




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Rulon @ Serendipity with David Harrison & Nate Omdal – Nov 1, 2013

7 – 10 pm, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 I am playing with guitarist David Harrison and bassist Nate Omdal at Seattle’s Serendipity Cafe & Lounge (21+). This cozy little venue is in the heart of the Magnolia neighborhood and well worth the trip. We’ll play originals and beloved jazz and Latin standards.
3222 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199 

Guitarist, Composer & Painter David HarrisonNate Omdal


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“Composing for Digital Musicians” class at Music Works NW

This Fall, Rulon Brown will teach Composing for Digital Musicians at Music Works NW. Are you producing your own music, remixing, or making your own beats, and want to up your game? Composer and producer Rulon Brown teaches time-honored arranging and composing techniques and helps students gain the skills they need to write fatter hooks, cut deeper grooves, and build better songs. Students will create their own music and have opportunities to showcase online and at live shows.  Bring your own laptop/controller or use one of Music Works computers loaded with Garage Band and Reaper software.

Time: 4:30-5:25 pm, Tuesday
Dates: October 1 – December 2
Ages: 14 +
Level: This course assumes you 1) Can comfortably navigate your own system or the IMac computers at Music Works.  2) Already have some experience creating via Garage Band, Logic, Ableton, Protools, or other systems.
Tuition: $185 (tuition assistance is available. Call 425-644-0988 for info)

Rulon will also lead a contemporary music ensemble called “The Next.”
See all Fall course descriptions at

Untitled photo by Ondřej Lipár

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Announcing “The Next” Ensemble at Music Works NW

Starting this Fall, Rulon Brown will lead “The Next” contemporary music group at Music Works NW.
This new honors ensemble is open to performers, composers, and digital creators of all genres and explores the tools and trends of modern music making. The intensive course includes collaborative workshops, individual work, and work in class and on-line to create new music and study the artist-to-audience relationship of the 21st Century.

“The Next is for dare-devils who hunger to make new music, explore uncharted territory, and grow their artistic voice,” says Rulon. “Having met some of the great students at Music Works, I’m super excited to hear what we create together!”

Time: 6:00 – 7:20 pm, Tuesdays
Dates: (12 classes) October 8 – December 17
Ages: 14+
Tuition: $252 (tuition assistance is available. Call 425-644-0988 for info)

Level: This ensemble assumes you understand the fundamentals of your instrument or voice. Audition using any form of communication you prefer (music, letter, video, etc) to describe yourself, your music, and why you want to be part of The Next. Send it to Rulon [at]

Rulon is also teaching Composing for Digital Musicians.
See all Fall course descriptions at

Untitled by Ondřej Lipár

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Video from the RESTLESS gallery installation

RESTLESS is an interactive performance installation by Rulon Brown that premiered June 6-16, 2013 at Paul Rucker’s Open Studio Project Gallery in Seattle.

Inspired by America’s broken medical system and the restless sleep of The American Dream, Rulon created this work to explore the barriers of community, what we share, and what we keep to ourselves.

50 identical headphones hang from 50 intravenous drip poles to play 50 unique accompaniments that blend with live solo performance. This video montage includes saxophone and room sounds that were recorded during live interactive performances. It also contains several of the pre-composed MP3 accompaniments people may have heard through the headphones.


Seattle Weekly Arts Editor, Brian Miller, described the “oddly communal, intimate experience.”
“Rulon Brown, whose Restless debut drew an avid audience during this month’s First Thursday art walk. Dangling from hospital IV stands are 50 red headphones with little mp3 players attached. On cue, Brown and his audience don the headphones, then he solos his alto sax over the track you’re hearing—each one different from your neighbors’, all of them composed by Brown. It’s an oddly communal, intimate experience. Headphones usually isolate the listener, but in Restless they unite the small standing audience. “It’s about community and how we create it and recreate it,” says Brown. “It’s playing with this idea of what we share and what we keep to our selves. Nobody can know what anyone else is hearing. It’s like when you’re sitting on the bus and you think you know what someone’s listening to.”

“For Restless—also the name of a larger body of work that includes Brown’s jewelry—audio cues sometimes direct listeners to remove their headphones and lift them overhead. It’s a neat bit of group choreography, with the 50 different compositions suddenly joining together in the high-ceilinged space. The total performance time is about 10 minutes.”


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Rulon @ Redmond Town Center Arts Festival, July 13, 2013

1-3 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 2013, Rulon Brown will play a free concert with guitarist Bill Horist at the Redmond Town Center Arts Festival. Bill is a wildly eclectic improviser and composer and the two artists began sharing their rockish space-lounge duets after working together on a recent U.S. State Department tour of Nicaragua.

Rulon Brown & Bill Horist, by Azure Skies Photography

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Rulon @ Serendipity Lounge, July 5, 2013

7 – 10 pm, Friday, July 5, 2013 I am playing with guitarist David Harrison at Seattle’s Serendipity Cafe & Lounge (21+). This cozy little venue is in the heart of the Magnolia neighborhood and well worth the trip. We’ll play originals and beloved jazz and Latin standards.
3222 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199 

Guitarist, Composer & Painter David Harrison
Guitarist, Composer & Painter David Harrison


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Seattle Weekly recommends RESTLESS 6/15/13

“An oddly communal, intimate experience. Headphones usually isolate the listener, but in Restless they unite [the audience]… It’s a neat bit of group choreography, with the 50 different compositions suddenly joining together in the high-ceilinged space.”Seattle Weekly, Arts Editor Brian Miller

Seattle Weekly review 6-12-13

Rulon shared an interactive art installation, hand-made jewelry, and performances June 6 – 16, 2013 at Paul Rucker’s Open Studio Project located at 301 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104. All events were free.

JUNE 6, 2013, 5:30 PM, First interactive performance w/ six repeat performances every half hour. Nightly Performances continued at 6 PM through June 16.
MATINEE CONCERT, 2 PM, Saturday, June 15 with Jeff Busch, Bill Horist & Paul Rucker

Click here to learn more about Rulon’s portrait of The American Dream.

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RESTLESS – Rulon Brown’s Portrait of The American Dream

Rulon was inspired to create art about the American Dream during a 2011 artist retreat in Costa Rica. He fell ill and received emergency medical care from a Costa Rica clinic (publicly funded universal healthcare system). The emergency care cost him the equivalent of $20 USD. Meanwhile back home in Seattle, one of Rulon’s family members was skipping doses of the medication that kept her Multiple Sclerosis in remission because insurance companies rationed her life saving prescription drugs (non-universal, exclusive, private system funded by public and private funds).

RESTLESS is the open catalogue of Rulon Brown’s work inspired by The American Dream. It began with music and now includes film, jewelry, community art, and interactive art installations.

RESTLESS features 12 songs written, performed, and produced by Rulon Brown while touring North & Central America. Rulon crafted this concept album about the American Dream using only a simple microphone, laptop, and keyboard. Every sound from RESTLESS is Rulon playing real instruments, or triggering synthesized sounds, midi loops, and audio samples. The music comments on American ideas of opportunity, prosperity, safety, equality, exceptionalism, immigration, the environment, community, the common good, and much more.

UNITED Pendant from Rulon Brown's RESTLESS collectionWEARABLE SCULPTURE – Handmade Jewelry
Rulon began working metal at age 14 while working as an apprentice in band instrument repair. He started making jewelry as an adult after inheriting silversmith tools from his late-grandfather and namesake.

Each piece from the RESTLESS jewelry collection is wearable sculpture hand-made by Rulon and elegantly paired with music from his RESTLESS CD. These unique artisan designs make memorable gifts and are handcrafted from precious metals and coins from the U.S. and Canada. Available exclusively by special order or gallery exhibition.

“An oddly communal, intimate experience. Headphones usually isolate the listener, but in Restless they unite [the audience]… It’s a neat bit of group choreography, with the 50 different compositions suddenly joining together in the high-ceilinged space.”Seattle Weekly, Arts Editor Brian Miller

Rulon shared an interactive art installation, hand-made jewelry, and performances June 6 – 16, 2013 at Paul Rucker’s Open Studio Project located at 301 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104. All events were free.
JUNE 6, 2013, 5:30 PM, First interactive performance w/ six repeat performances every half hour. Nightly Performances continued at 6 PM through June 16.
MATINEE CONCERT, 2 PM, Saturday, June 15 with Jeff Busch, Bill Horist & Paul Rucker

Live show in Leon, NicaraguaRulon Brown and band, Photo by Oscar Navarrete Aguilar for La Prensia newspaper
Rulon and his band premiered music from RESTLESS while touring Nicaragua for the U.S. State Department sponsored Nicaragua International Jazz Festival. The band features interdisciplinary artist Paul Rucker (cello, electric bass), experimental improviser and composer Bill Horist (electric guitar), and Rulon’s long-time rhythm collaborator Jeff Busch (world percussion, drums).

VidaNEW BAND CD, VIDA features prog rock anthems from RESTLESS and a tribute to the people of Nicaragua. The band recorded the album live at Gravelvoice studios with renowned audio wizard Scott Colburn working the faders. Band Mates


COMMUNITY ART PUZZLE, MUSIC & FILM a limited-edition commission for Seattle Artthrob
Seattle Artthrob shareholders assemble Rulon's art puzzle

“The America Dream has inspired some of the world’s most intoxicating ideas,” notes Rulon, “and no matter how vivid, all dreams are just improvisation and synthesis. We make them up and then we wake up. But the ideas we cherish from our dreams inspire our best and worst actions. So I set out to synthesize sound dreams about America’s greatest export—our ideas of happiness, individuality, community and success.”

“I began RESTLESS to vent specific frustration with America. But creation is a healing act, cathartic. RESTLESS became a portrait project about my homeland, the things I love and a few things I hope to help improve.”


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Rulon @ Serendipity Lounge, April 5, 2013

7 – 10 pm, Friday, April 5, 2013 I am playing with guitarist David Harrison at Seattle’s Serendipity Cafe & Lounge (21+). This cozy little venue is in the heart of the Magnolia neighborhood and well worth the trip. We’ll play originals and beloved jazz and Latin standards.
3222 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199 

Guitarist, Composer & Painter David Harrison
Guitarist, Composer & Painter David Harrison


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Nicaragua International Jazz Festival

JUST ANNOUNCED: The U.S. Department of State, Embassy in Nicaragua will host Rulon Brown at the Nicaragua International Jazz Festival, February 20 – 23, 2013. Rulon’s band features three of Seattle’s brightest talents including the celebrated interdisciplinary artist Paul Rucker (cello, electric bass), experimental improviser and composer Bill Horist (electric guitar), and Rulon’s long-time rhythm collaborator Jeff Busch (world percussion, drums). The group will perform originals, standards, and premiere new music from Rulon’s forthcoming project Restless – music inspired by the success and struggle of American dreams.

21 Feb., 5 PM, Plaza Reloj Central en Diriamba
22 Feb., 6 PM, Teatro Municipal “José de la Cruz Mena” en León
23 Feb., 5 PM, Parque Nacional Histórico Loma de Tiscapa en Managua
Clase Magistral
20 Feb., 2 PM, Junior Music en Managua
21 Feb., 2 PM, Museo de Historia y Cultura en Diriamba
22 Feb., 2 PM,  Armonía Musical en León

Mas info:


En la noticias: El Nuevo Diario y La Prensa

Estados Unidos Embassy Logo

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Seattle Artthrob Commissions Rulon

Seattle Artthrob commissioned Rulon Brown to create a limited-edition work for Artthrob members. Seattle Artthrob is a new community supported arts co-op where members receive six original, limited-edition artworks created specifically for them by local artists.

Learn about all the commissioned artists and become a Seattle Artthrob member at

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LDS Film Fest to feature Sanctuary

The LDS Film Festival selected Sanctuary, a film about Rulon Brown and Mormon musical practice, for multiple screenings during the festival, January 25 through 28, 2012 at the SCERA Center in Orem, Utah.

“I’m thrilled the film will show alongside work from some of the most creative thinkers on LDS topics,” says Rulon of the honor. “The LDS Film Festival is a really big deal in Mormon cinema and since Sanctuary is all about LDS musical worship, I’m eager to see how people react to it in the screenings.” Continue reading LDS Film Fest to feature Sanctuary

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ThanksOweenEasterNukkah… for All!

Why can’t we all just get along for the holidays?
Rulon Brown’s festive new spoof tells us why not. Get your free download of ThanksOweenEasterNukkah at

ThanksOweenEasterNukkah is a campy croon inspired by Christmas jazz from the 1950s and features the vocal melodrama of Sheila Moss. Rulon wrote and recorded the song in just one day way back in late November 2010. But as anyone with the holiday spirit will tell you, that is simply not enough time to market and consume holiday cheer!

From our family to yours, we invite you to share in the warmth and spirit of the Holiday season by gifting the free MP3 (AKA indie-artist marketing device) to your friends, family, loved ones and enemies.

Happy ThanksOweenEasterNukkah RamadaKwanzaMas!

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“Sanctuary” at Faith Film Fest in NY

The Faith Film Festival airs Sanctuary, a documentary film by Aaron Bourget about Rulon’s experience in the LDS music community, at 8:30 p.m. EST, August 5. Watch online or via cable TV at Time Warner Cable ch. 97 or CableVision ch. 30. Remember to vote for your favorite films. Continue reading “Sanctuary” at Faith Film Fest in NY

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Film about Rulon premieres 6/24/11

The Fear No Film Festival will premier Sanctuary, a film about Rulon’s music, on Friday, June 24 and Sunday, June 26 in the Salt Lake City Library auditorium. Directed by Seattle-filmmaker Aaron Bourget, Sanctuary is a spirited short documentary about the constraints of Mormon musical tradition, Christian devotion, fellowship and belonging. Sanctuary features Rulon’s original music and performances by the acclaimed Total Experience Gospel Choir.

Sanctuary is also an official selection of the Faith Film Festival in New York. The festival runs all summer via web streaming, and TV (NET Time Warner cable channel 97 and Cablevision channel 30) and will conclude with theatrical screenings (TBA). The Faith Film Festival schedule will be available here.

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Music for Apps

I recently created a galactic opera theme for Prop Group’s forthcoming iPhone game, Space Viking. The game is due out this summer. Thanks again to co-collaborator, Mike Weiser, and lead developer, Rod Strougo for bringing me in on the project.

On a geeky-cool side note, Rod is literally writing the book on Cocos2D development for iPhone and iPad and will be speaking at the Voices That Matter iPhone Developers Conference, April 8-10 in Seattle. See ya there!

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Press Clippings

Rulon Brown is “one not to miss… one of Seattle’s up and coming”
– Seattle Flute Society

“Exceptional is the only word to describe the poise, technique and taste…of [Rulon] Brown”
– Larry Spellens (Jazz Critic)

“An oddly communal, intimate experience. Headphones usually isolate the listener, but in [Rulon’s] Restless they unite [the audience]… It’s a neat bit of group choreography, with the 50 different compositions suddenly joining together in the high-ceilinged space.”
 Seattle Weekly, Arts Editor Brian Miller

Rulon’s CD, Rejoice, blends Christian melody with world rhythm and improv. The music inspired Ross Hauck (founder of the Sacred Music Foundation) to declare: “[Rulon] defies description or category. I’m going to call him an ambassador of Christativity… Christianity and creativity together.” Rulon began the Rejoice project after an inspiring unrehearsed recording session with Jeff Busch (drums / percussion),
 Dawn Clement (piano) and 
Paul Rucker (bass / cello).

“Brown’s hard driving saxophones, expressive flutes and haunting wind synthesizer add a broad spectrum of musical colors to the group’s unique sound.”
– The West Virginia Daily News

“The [Rulon] Brown Quartet calls upon a power house rhythm section of guitar, bass, and percussion, featuring the saxophone and flute stylings of [Rulon] Brown. [Rulon] offers a fluid sound that burbles like Desmond and gushes like Coltrane. His melodies articulate an almost vocal quality…that captivates the novice and entices those more versed in the jazz tradition.”
– Al Cordray, Ear Pollution

“Rulon’s sound, his commitment to excellence, his demand for artistic integrity, his choice of material, supporting artist, and project supervision all reflect the intensity of his dedication to excellence.”
– Julian Priester, Trombonist/Composer

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Sax / Flute Lessons

Rulon working with faculty of Casa de los Tres Mundos in Granada, Nicaragua.I love teaching and help students with technique, healthy use of breath and body, improvising, sight reading, theory, composing, and more. The U.S. State Department recently invited me to teach at the Nicaragua International Jazz Festival and the Tres Mundos institute.

I teach students of all ages and ability at studios located in Issaquah and Redmond, Washington. You can also join me at Music Works NW for The Next and Composing for Digital Musicians.

Rulon leading the band at Casa de los Tres Mundos in Granada, Nicaragua
Music Lessons in Redmond$45/hr, $30/30 min
Music Lessons in Issaquah: $50/hr, $30/30 min
Music Lessons Online$45/hr, $30/30 min
Lessons in your home$60/hr,  $45/30 min
Signup by e-mailing  Rulon [at] rulonbrown [dot] com


“Rulon has helped me establish personal musical goals and then made attaining them fun. I learn a lot every time I have a lesson and have made great progress. It is now a joy to create music and realize that I can improve while still having fun. I highly recommend him as a teacher.”
– Adult Flute Student

“Rulon Brown has helped me learn so much with my saxophone. I came to him as a beginner and now I am in the jazz band at school! He is fun and he teaches me in stages. If I’m struggling in one area we work on it during my lesson until I get it down. He likes to see me progress and is very encouraging, supportive, and fun. He pushes me to work hard during my lessons and I have really improved because of that. I would totally recommend Rulon as a music teacher and for anyone wanting to learn to play the saxophone!
– 8th Grader from Cedar Park Middle School

A note from the parent of teenage student“[My daughter] really enjoys having you as her teacher. I like the way you are encouraging her and trying to pull her out of her comfort zone and helping her to be more self confident in who she is as a musician. She is one that needs to be encouraged to go to the next level with playing her saxophone and you have great way of doing that during her lessons.”

“You’re not just teaching her notes on the instrument or just songs out if a book; your teaching her how to work with the saxophone to get the feel of it, to get the right fingering and the right sound to come out. I like that your helping her realize she doesn’t have to be perfect but that she just needs to keep practicing and every time she practices she gets better! Thank you for helping her, she has really improved a lot since she has been taking lessons from you.”