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Joseph Brent

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Title: Joseph Brent  
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Subject: 9 Horses, American classical mandolinists, Classical mandolinists, Gary Smulyan, Semiotic Society of America
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Joseph Brent

Joseph Brent
Born (1976-04-06) April 6, 1976
Queens, New York
Genres Classical, folk, jazz, bluegrass, experimental
Instruments mandolin, guitar, violin
Labels Sunnyside Records, Vienna Modern Masters, orlando records
Associated acts 9 Horses, Regina Spektor, Erin McKeown, Jewel, Sara Caswell, International Contemporary Ensemble
Website .comjosephbrent
Notable instruments
"Pähkinä" and "Kumí" Grand Concert mandolins by Brian Dean

Joseph Frederick Brent (born April 6, 1976) is an American mandolinist, multi-instrumentalist,[1] and teacher. He is known for his performances and arrangements of rock and indie songs, as well as his original compositions with the ensemble 9 Horses.[2][3] He teaches classical mandolin at Mannes College.[4]

Brent attended the Berklee College of Music, and studied the mandolin under Carlo Aonzo in Savona, Italy.[5] He also received instruction from Barry Mitterhoff[6] and Adam Steffey.[7]

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Brent is active as a sideman in several rock, jazz, bluegrass,[8] and folk ensembles, most notably with Regina Spektor,[9] Jewel, Kishi Bashi,[10] Gary Smulyan,[11] and various artists centered around the Brooklyn folk music scene.

Brent also records[12][13] and performs with classical groups, including the San Francisco Symphony,[14] Chicago Symphony,[15] International Contemporary Ensemble,[16] nunc,[17] and the New World Symphony.[18][19]

In 2008, Brent collaborated with Nova Scotia-based luthier Brian Dean to design a grand concert mandolin he named 'Pähkinä', which is Finnish for 'nut', a reference to the walnut top of the instrument. Among the instrument's many distinctive features are the walnut/maple/spruce wood combination, a zero fret, a semi-lute construction with minimal bracing, a built-in tone guard with a sound pressure relief hole cut into the back, and ornate f-holes which reach around the sides of the instrument.[20] Dean has since built a 10-string version of this model nicknamed 'Kumí', which is currently Brent's primary instrument.[21]

On October 16, 2015, Brent's improvising ensemble 9 Horses, featuring violinist Sara Caswell and bassist Shawn Conley released their debut album Perfectest Herald on Sunnyside Records.[22]

Brent has published two books of mandolin pedagogy, Scales and Arpeggios for Mandolin and Orchestral and Chamber Excerpts for Mandolin, and his book of transcriptions of the lute music of John Dowland for two mandolins, conceived with Alon Sariel, was published in 2015 by paladino music.[23]


  • Discography 1
    • Solo 1.1
    • With 9 Horses 1.2
    • With others 1.3
  • Books 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4



  • Point of Departure (2007)[24]
  • Nocturnes and Caprices by David Loeb (Vienna Modern Masters) (2011)
  • solo. EP (2011)
  • An Englishman In New York (2013) with Alon Sariel

With 9 Horses

  • Joe Brent & Sara Caswell EP (2013)
  • Perfectest Herald (2015)

With others

Year Artist Album Description
1997 Rob Giles Straight Down a Crooked Road violin, string arrangements[25]
2002 Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt Roadside (original cast recording) mandolin, violin, guitar, banjo[26]
2006 Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris 2006 off-Broadway revival cast recording mandolin, violin[27]
2008 Lindsay Katt Picking Out Boxes violin
2010 Joseph Stein & Stan Daniels Enter Laughing (original cast recording) violin[28]
2012 Bryan Dunn Sweetheart of the Music Hall mandolin, vocals
Miller & Tysen Fugitive Songs mandolin, violin
2013 Kishi Bashi 7" Box Set violin
Erin McKeown MANIFESTRA violin, piano, string arrangements[29]
Kelli Rae Powell Live at Jalopy mandolin, violin[30]
Gary Smulyan Bella Napoli mandolin, violin[31]
2014 Lauren Kinhan Circle in a Square violin[32]
2015 Maxine Linehan Beautiful Songs mandolin, percussion, violin[33]
Andi Rae Healy If You Want To Be My Man mandolin[34]
King Radio King Radio mandolin, violin
Kishi Bashi String Quartet Live! mandolin, violin


  • Scales and Arpeggios for Mandolin. Lulu Publishing. 2007.[35]
  • Orchestral and Chamber Excerpts for Mandolin. Lulu Publishing. 2007.[35]
  • An Englishman in New York: Famous Lute Pieces Arranged for Two Mandolins. paladino media gmbh. 2015.[36]


  1. ^ "BWW Reviews: Rising Star Maxine Linehan Again Displays Her Beautiful Voice Through Beautiful Songs at the Metropolitan Room". Broadway World Reviews, October 11, 2014 by Stephen Hanks.
  2. ^ Review: San Francisco Symphony performs Beethoven rarities - San Jose Mercury News
  3. ^ The Bluegrass Special: Artists On The Verge 2012
  4. ^ Mannes College faculty page
  5. ^ Artist to Artist: 10 Minutes with Carlo Aonzo - Mandolin Cafe
  6. ^ Artist to Artist: 10 Minutes with Barry Mitterhoff - Mandolin Cafe
  7. ^ Artist to Artist: 10 Minutes with Carlo AonzoJoseph Brent Interview - Mandolin Cafe
  8. ^ The Bluegrass Special interview with Joseph Brent
  9. ^ "Us | Regina Spektor". uploaded by Carlos Vilaró Nadal
  10. ^ "Kishi Bashi String Quartet - Bright Whites"
  11. ^ "Gary Smulyan/Dominic Chianese: Bella Napoli". All About Jazz. by DAN BILAWSKY. 10, 2015
  12. ^ Gary Smulyan and Dominic Chianese – Bella Napoli (2013)
  13. ^ SFist Reviews: Beethoven Recordings and Writings: SFist
  14. ^ "SF Symphony review: 'Beethoven Project' begins". SF Gate By Joshua Kosman May 3, 2013
  15. ^ "Riccardo Muti opens CSO season at Symphony Center". Chicago Tribune, By John von Rhein
  16. ^ ICE @ Music Mondays | ICE
  17. ^ Music review: Nunc at Mannes | TMI Arts Page
  18. ^ "MTT, New World present different sides of Beethoven’s genius". South Florida Classical Review, By Lawrence Budmen
  19. ^ Music review: Nunc at Mannes | TMI Arts Page
  20. ^ "Joseph Brent Interview". Mandolin Cafe November 20, 2011
  21. ^ Grand Concert - Brian Dean. Brian N Dean, luthier
  22. ^ Sunnyside Cafe. 9 Horses: Perfectest Herald
  23. ^ An Englishman In New York Paladino Sheet Music.
  24. ^ "Joseph Brent - Point of Departure CD Review" Mandolin Magazine.
  25. ^ "Joseph Brent|Credits|AllMusic" AllMusic.
  26. ^ "Roadside [Original Cast Recording] - credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris [2006 Off-Broadway Recording] - credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  28. ^ "Enter Laughing - credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "Manifestra - Erin McKeown". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  30. ^ "Live Music at Jalopy with Kelli Rae Powell". Jalopy. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  31. ^ "Bella Napoli - credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  32. ^ Bailey, C. Michael. "Lauren Kinhan: Circle In A Square (2014)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  33. ^ "Beautiful Songs - credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  34. ^ "Dear Death - Andi Rae Healy". Music X Ray. 
  35. ^ a b "Books by Joseph Brent". Goodreads. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  36. ^ paladino media gmbh

External links

  • Official home page
  • 9 Horses
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