Bryan Hooten is an Adjunct Instructor of Jazz and Music Theory at VCU, where he teaches Jazz Orchestra II, Small Jazz Ensembles, Music Theory, and Jazz Trombone. He studied jazz and classical trombone at the University of Southern Mississippi, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies in 2004. In 2006 he merited the Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a trombonist, Hooten currently performs with three of Richmond’s most cutting-edge groups: Fight the Big Bull, No BS! Brass, and Ombak (which he also leads). With these groups he has performed at venues all across the East Coast, Deep South, and Midwest. Hooten’s quartet, Ombak, has been described by bagatellen.com as “an extraordinarily unique group, a swaggering quartet that chomps and bellows like Albert Mangelsdorff fronting prog-rock.” Ombak’s debut album, Framing the Void, which features Hooten’s original compositions, was given five stars by Style Weekly.
Hooten is also one of two trombonists in the eight-piece, avant-jazz group Fight the Big Bull, whose newest album, All is Gladness in the Kingdom (featuring Steven Bernstein and released by Clean Feed Records), has been called “Sluggingly brutal with a refined intelligence, of course” by allaboutjazz.com. Hooten also performs with the award-winning No BS! Brass, described by Style Weekly as “one of the most consistently exciting live groups in Richmond.” This group continues to tour in support of its second album, Alive in Richmond. Hooten is a veteran of more than a dozen recordings with myriad groups, including releases on Clean Feed Records, FatCat Records, and various independent labels.
As a composer/arranger, Hooten has written music for jazz orchestra, small jazz groups, choir, brass ensemble, and solo trombone, including commissions by VCU faculty and jazz luminary Rex Richardson. His work has been published by the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.
As a highly active educator in local high schools, Hooten directs the James River High School Jazz Band, serves as Brass Instructor at Hanover High School, and is the assistant director of the Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band at VCU. He is also the former Brass Instructor for the Governor’s School for the Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts.