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Message From Guru’s Trumpet Player Mr. Brownman

On Apr 19th, 2010 – it was announced that GURU, one of the greatest hip-hop voices of all time, has died. I have had the honor and privilege of having been the featured soloist for GURU’s JAZZMATAZZ for the last 3 years, and standing next to him on stages around the world was nothing short of inspiring. All that time on the road with him, witnessing the profound talent he brought to the mic nightly, influenced me deeply and I will forever be grateful for the time I had with him. I grew up with Gang Starr and the early volumes of Jazzmatazz, and when I got the call to join the ranks of Jazzmatazz as the trumpet player and appear on Vol. 4 – I was honored and humbled beyond words. To stand next to that primordial voice in hip-hop and be part of a series that I adored… was like a dream. I was occupying the position in Jazzmatazz formerly held by the legendary Donald Byrd and thus had BIG shoes to fill. But Guru was always encouraging and supportive, and his friendship and grace willalways be remembered.

This video below, which now tears me up to watch, has him shouting me out. At the end of a long Jazzmatazz tour, I had asked him if he could do a 5 second lil ad for – instead he said a ton of very kind & gracious things he didn’t have to and you can see me clearly humbled by his words. In addition to being a lyrical genius, he was a funny, poignant, carefree man. You can see that spirit clearly in this video:

And here’s a video of the GURU I remember best – the man that danced beside my bed and made fun of my shoes (omg did he ever love to make fun of my kicks! lol)… here’s a lil tribute of my own:

Rest in peace bald-headed slick. Many of us know the truth behind your demise, and regardless of the evil surrounding you in your final days & the attempts to re-write history we’re all now witnessing – your legacy remains. History will remember… and so will I.


Also his father was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, hold your head up homie!

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8 Responses to “Message From Guru’s Trumpet Player Mr. Brownman”

  • Comment from DEEGEE

    Beautiful tribute and picture

  • Comment from John Romania

    R.I.P. Guru. Love you forevar man!!!!! I never forget you!!!! Premo be strong man, be strog!!!! Peace, love and light from Romania!!! R.I.P. Keith Guru Elam!!!!

  • Comment from Johnson Davis

    Brownman, next to Guru, was the best part of Jazzmatazz. I saw that crew 3 times after Brownman joined the group and to see his incredible skill and energy on stage, it’s clear why Guru loved him. Those videos are fantastic. To see Guru smiling and laughing like that made me laugh too. And see how Brownman ends that touching letter with a confirmation that Solar’s evil?! It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. Confirmation from the inside. I hope that young brother will speak out! I bet he’s got stories on top of stories yo!

  • Comment from Thompson

    I gotta agree with the dude above me. Brownman be killin’ it! Best part of Jazzmatazz after Guru. Fuck Solar. Someone needs to put a pick in that nicca’s eye. I want to puke my guts out when I think of geniuses like Guru and Brownman having to share a stage with that clown Solar.

  • Comment from France

    gangstarr for ever!
    hope guru’s father is doing good, very sorry for the gangstarr familis lost!

    primo, please come back on scene someday, not everyone had the opportunity to see you live! you are hip hop

    peace from France

  • Comment from Carl Hayman

    Brownman’s the jazz in Jazzmatazz!
    So sorry to hear that Brownie’s father is ill too. Awful. I met him while they were in London. DJ DooWop and Brownman had me busting my ass laughing with their antics. They were imitating each other while Guru watched and quietly smiled as his crew. Meanwhile that fuck Solar was prowling around screaming about there not being enough beer or something. I hope someone ends him.

  • Comment from r4 ds kaart

    Though GURU is not between us but his songs and memories will be here always and we never forget him.Have peace to his soul!

  • Beautiful tribute and picture

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