Alison Brown began her music career at a young age, playing banjo in several Southern California bands alongside fiddler Stuart Duncan as a teenager. After graduating from high school, bluegrass took a back seat while Brown attended Harvard University, earned an MBA, and worked as an investment banker. Following successful tours with both Alison Krauss and Michelle Shocked, a Grammy-nomination for her first solo effort Simple Pleasures, and the Banjo Player of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association, Brown put her business skills to work, founding Compass Records in 1995 with her husband Garry West. Brown’s discography includes 5 releases on Vanguard Records as well as 4 on Compass Records. Brown tours internationally with the Alison Brown Quartet, has been a guest speaker at Harvard Business School, Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School, and the University of Colorado Boulder, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
Led by Grammy-nominated banjoist Alison Brown, the Alison Brown Quartet offers up an astonishingly original instrumental sound that blends jazz, bluegrass, latin and folk music and takes the banjo far from its stereotyped hillbilly roots. Since 1994, the Quartet has been touring nationally and abroad and has garnered extensive critical acclaim.