Brett Mitchell began his music career with piano and drum lessons when he was 12 years of age. He studied classical piano until the age of 17. His introduction to the world of jazz came through two professional jazz players in Fort Worth, Texas in 1962. During that same year, Brett began playing professionally as a drummer with a professional dance combo at Country Clubs, Officer and NCO clubs and private parties. The following year he became the pianist in the same band. During his teen years he studied at the Stan Kenton Stage Band Clinics for both drums and piano.
Brett started composing at the age of 16 when he wrote the music and co-wrote the book for his first musical. After High School, he attended Oklahoma University where he wrote a jazz score for the incidental music of the stage version of Tom Sawyer. Later, while at New York University, he wrote the music for two unpublished musicals and the score for a student film.
Brett's second love is theater. He studied acting under Olympia Dukakis and Lloyd Richards at New York University’s School of the Arts. While there, he studied songwriting with Paul Simon, wrote songs with Melissa Manchester, and was a member of the BMI musical theater workshop taught by famed Broadway conductor Lehman Engel. Following graduation, Brett toured for two seasons as a professional actor with the Carolina Repertory Company.
In the early seventies, Brett left theater for the life of a professional musician. As a singer/pianist, he was in several rock bands in his home town of Oklahoma City. The last one, True Star, featured regular performances of his original jazz/rock tunes. During this time, Brett also composed and arranged several jingles for radio and television.
Brett began a solo career in 1980, playing venues from Vail to Tokyo and on a cruise ship from Athens to Hong Kong. In the mid-eighties, he moved to the Los Angeles area where in addition to his nightly gigs, he taught music to grade school students in the Redondo Beach public school system.
Brett has self-produced several CD’s which can be heard on this website. His song, "Romance," from his Return to Eden CD, was selected as the main theme for a German television program. In addition, he was under contract to Etherean Music for several years, during which time he created three CD's for their label, being nominated for "Best Christian Instrumental Recording" by the National Association of Independant Record Distributors (NAIRD) for his CD "Inspiration." He has composed the main theme for the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Although Brett is well known on the central coast of California as a jazz pianist and vocalist, his true love is composing his brand of “movie music," his dream being to score films, a natural outgrowth of his theater and music gifts.
Since 1986, Brett has made his home on the central coast of California, playing local venues such as the Inn at Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo's Embassy Suites and 1865, and for private parties and events. He has worked with several musical artists as an arranger and studio musician. He currently lives with his wife, vocalist Julia Mitchell, in Atascadero, California. He co-wrote, arranged and orchestrated their CD "Where Innocence Can Live," a collection of original songs and instrumentals based on the Old Testament book, "Song of Songs." He has also composed music for spoken word albums. Brett's original CD, "Return to Eden" can be heard on cable television along the central coast and in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is featured on the program "Evening at Sunset Ranch."
If you are interested in scheduling Brett for your event or wedding, you may contact him at 805-464-0258. Brett often performs at venues in the San Luis Obispo, California area with his wife, Julia, a jazz vocalist. If you are interested in booking Brett and Julia for special events or weddings, they have a website for that purpose: http://www.brettandjuliamitchell.com.