Who is Professor B? Connecticut native Fred Brown has gone by this moniker for years as keyboardist and founding member of a local reggae band I.N.I.T.Y who are still performing after 14 years. Pushing forward with positive results after a life threatening illness, Brown felt its time to step up the game with an original act “Professor B and the Army of Love” and have a mission that is quite obvious: through music, spread peace, love, and harmony, all good vibes to their audience. You’d be hard pressed to find another artist who is so whole-heartedly playing music for this reason.
Where does all this love come from? You’ll find it in people who have gone through hard times and come out on the other side. Fred Brown is a cancer survivor and believes the best healer in life is music. “I am taking this opportunity of life, gathering my experiences, and strictly focusing on my own original music that has a positive, uplifting, universal vibe and moving it forward” says Brown.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut to a divorced blue-collar family, Brown’s mother won a raffle of accordion lessons and gave them to his older sister. After her disinterest, the 4-year-old Brown was next in line and it was there that the musical spark was lit. Whether it was a guitar, piano, organ, or simply banging on cardboard boxes, he wanted to get his hands on it. Throughout his childhood, Brown was exposed to everything from Rock-Roll, Motown, and Country to the many greats of the Classical era, and finally got the opportunity to join the drum corps in elementary school. Although he never had any formal training, Brown found himself always surrounded by musicians.
Like many creative people, he dropped out of school at 16 and joined the Navy the following year. Struggling to find balance after a divorce with 3 children, Brown filled his time with going to live shows and really honing in on the technique of the players he was watching. His chance finally came many years later when he was invited to fill an act as a duo with a friend. From there, another invite as 2nd guitarist in the local R&B band First Approach, which landed Brown a permanent gig for a while. “Those guys got me out of sneakers, and put me in shoes” says Brown.
Years of live performances with many bands followed including fundraisers, TV broadcasts, also an invitation from his friend Michael Mills, for an appearance singing with a 1000 Voice Choir for the World Special Olympicsat Yale Field that included in the audience, President of the United States Bill Clinton, Hootie and the Blowfish, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
After suffering two bouts of cancer in 2011 and 2013, Brown declared “I know so many people that need treatment of some kind, to waste this opportunity of life is a sin against humanity. That’s when I decided I needed to go into battle.” With support from his community and friends, two different benefitswere held in his name and the outpouring of love was so overwhelming that it is his life’s mission to continue to spread that love and harmony to others. Brown has since joined forces with Vic Steffens and Horizon Music Groupto record his first LP that has been a long time coming.
Promoting music projects is always a difficult proposition, says Vic Steffens, There are many artists vying for the public’s attention. But we feel both the music and the experience of the Army of Love pack a big punch. Producer Vic Steffens of Horizon Music Grouphas produced over 300 full length CDs and worked with may notable artists. The music and the live show are truly inspirational.
Professor B’s message of universal love and positivity has proven to have strong impact in these troubled times: “I believe that through self- awareness, we can better ourselves and have a more positive impact on the world. We have many faces on this planet, and many issues at hand. Until we reach a common respect with ourselves, and for each other, can we begin to cure any issues that plague society.” ~ Professor B