20 November 1963, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Braden began playing tenor saxophone at the age of 13, making his professional debut two years later. Through Jamey Aebersold he became interested in jazz and played in the McDonalds All American High School Jazz Band. In the early 80s he attended Harvard University, studying Engineering and Applied Sciences. While at Harvard he played in the universitys jazz band and also took the opportunity of studying saxophone with Boston-based teachers Bill Pierce and Jerry Bergonzi. In 1984 he went to New York and was soon attracting favourable notices. In the late 80s he toured with Wynton Marsalis, recorded with Betty Carter and also played with leaders such as Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard and J.J. Johnson. In the 90s, he continued to work in distinguished company, including Winard Harper, Tom Harrell, Mingus Big Band Workshop, Christian McBride, Benny Green, Steve Turré, Randy Brecker and organists Brother Jack McDuff and Larry Gold. He toured extensively, gaining followings in Japan and Europe, recording Landing Zone in the Netherlands. Braden was also increasingly sought out as an arranger and composer and towards the end of the decade worked in films and television and as a record producer. His film credits include the orchestration and playing of music composed by Benny Golson for Eds Next Move (1996). He was musical supervisor and performer for televisions Cosby in 1998, and, with Golson, co-produced The Voice Of The Saxophone.
Highly accomplished in many areas of the music business, as a performer Bradens playing of the tenor and soprano saxophones, and sometimes flute, displays an artist at the height of his creative powers. Playing tenor with a sinewy sound and great power, he also has a rich seam of romanticism that makes his work accessible to a wide-ranging audience. There is also aural evidence that his listening has taken him back to absorb the blues-drenched playing of the Texas tenor saxophonists. His charts for the bands assembled for his recording sessions indicate a strong liking for hard bop, some of the small group dates evoking memories of Art Blakey. Braden also composes music for his various bands.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.