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Life & Work with Brevan Hampden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brevan Hampden.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was born in NYC, and my family relocated to Durham, NC when I was 3 years old. I come from a family of musicians, my mother is a Pianist, and my father and 2 older brothers are drummers. I grew up playing in the AME church my mother lead a choir.

My middle brother attended NCCU for Jazz, and I started learning jazz around middle school by hanging out with him and his college friends. I also played in a funk band with him at that time. I started studying Afro-Cuban Music around the time I was 10 or 11. I started college at FIU in Miami in 2003 but returned home to NC in 2005 after my father was diagnosed with cancer.

Fortunately, he has been in remission since then and is healthy. I finished college at NCCU in 2009. During this time, I played in bands and lead shows at clubs, bars, and restaurants in the Triangle. In January 2014, I went for a master’s at Queens College in NYC, living half time in NYC and half time in NC. I completed my master’s in May 2016. I relocated back to Durham thereafter and built a recording studio with my business partner in 2017.

Throughout this time, I played in multiple bands, recorded music, and toured many places both domestic and international. Since then, I went back and obtained my real estate license in 2021. I currently perform and record with multiple groups, teach private lessons on all of the percussion instruments and piano, run my recording studio business, and am navigating my new real estate career.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not. Between my bachelor’s and master’s, I got married for the first time, ending in divorce during my master’s program. I also had some health setbacks during that time.

My parents have also dealt with health issues in past years. In general, navigating life as an entrepreneurial musician is difficult, as there are generally not many social safety nets associated with the profession.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a percussionist and drummer. I specialize in Afro Cuban Jazz, Latin Music, Jazz, and all forms of Black American Music.

I’m most known locally for my work with artists like HISS Golden Messenger, Phil Cook, Joe Troop, and Al Strong. I am most known nationally for my work with Charlie Hunter, Joey Calderazzo, Ani Difranco, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

I’m proud and grateful for all of my accomplishments. I think what sets me apart from others is my musical versatility coupled with my recent entrance into a career as a realtor.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
People can work with me in a myriad of ways. For real estate, I can be hired as a buyer and/or listing agent. For music, I teach lessons on drum sets, percussion, and piano.

I can also be hired to provide music for events, performances, and recordings. I can also arrange music and lead bands. My recording studio is also for hire for those wanting to record music.

For collaboration, I generally collaborate with many other musicians in the area and nationally, so I’m always glad to do that. The best way to support me is to hire me, support any live performances or recordings I’m a part of, and follow, like, and share my social media accounts.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sherri Jones, Lauren Serpa, Christopher Charles, Ryan Bell, and Ramon Casiano

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