Saturday Afternoon Jazz Host
Born of Russian Jewish and African-American descent in Brooklyn, NY, Monifa Brown's (formerly Monifa Carson - now happily married and the proud mother of a wonderful Bebop loving toddler!) affinity for music began at an early age. Brown's parents are avid jazz fans who shepherded her throughout the New York jazz scene as a youngster, introducing her to music that would become her passion. She says, "I am blessed that my parents are hip and were driven to expose me to the arts and jazz in particular. They would take me with them everywhere. But I think the first time an irrepressible mark was made was when they took me to hear Miles Davis. His presence and sound were mesmerizing. Miles was like magic and I was instantly hooked."
Brown is a graduate of Temple University where she earned a degree in Music Therapy with a concentration in classical voice. She launched her radio career at WRTI - Temple University's Public Radio Station. After staying with WRTI for three years, Brown became the host of a Friday evening program and later the host of the station's highest rated show, "Turn on the Quiet."
Prior to Temple Monifa Brown studied voice at New York's esteemed Fiorello H. LaGuardia-The High School for the Performing Arts. Currently, she hosts 'Saturday Afternoon Jazz,' a weekly live straight-ahead jazz program broadcasted on WBGO/88.3 FM (and wbgo.org) from 2 to 6 PM EST. The show is broadcasted live from the jazz floor at J&R Music World in Manhattan, one Saturday a month. Brown joined WBGO in May of 1996 as a fill-in announcer and by the fall she became a regular host. In the Fall of 1999, Brown became the Assistant Producer of "JazzSet with Branford Marsalis" and later went on to become the show's Associate Producer. The award-winning show is now hosted by Dee Dee Bridgewater. In addition to hosting "Saturday Afternoon Jazz," Monifa Brown is currently the Vice President of Publicity for Shanachie Entertainment. The dynamic young woman can also be seen periodically on BET on the 'Bet on Jazz' program "Future Wave" hosted by Herbie Hancock. She is an on camera reporter for the weekly computer/new technology program.
In addition to radio, Monifa Brown is a seasoned publicist who in the music biz for close to two decades. In the jazz world she has worked publicity campaigns for everyone from Terence Blanchard, Roy Haynes and Joe Lovano to Marian McPartland, David Sanchez and Freddie Hubbard. She has also done press for R&B icons like Deniece Williams and Jody Watley. Brown has also worked for George Wein's Festival Productions and contributed articles to Down Beat and Black Elegance magazines. In the summer of 1999, the Danish consulate extended a special invitation to Brown to attend the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which she reported on for WBGO and Down Beat Magazine. An accomplished writer, Brown has written artist bios for such record labels as Blue Note, Columbia and Verve Records. She is currently working on a book of jazz poetry.
Brown says, "Jazz is a spiritual pillar in my life. I am privileged to have the opportunity to share my love of this music with people all around the world every week on my show." On May 19, 2003 Monifa Brown's father, Booker T. Quattlebaum passed away. Brown states," My father meant the world to me. He gave me so many gifts in this life and I am eternally grateful. He gave me the gift of jazz. Every show I have ever done since college I taped for him and almost every week he would call me in the on-air studio while I was doing my show. As Horace Silver would say, each week, I play 'A Song for my Father' and the music will forever play on."