The son of musicians and music educators, New Jersey native Otis Brown grew up to the sounds of jazz, gospel, funk, and rhythm and blues. After playing saxophone and drums in school and church, Brown attended Delaware State University (DSU) as a music major. With the encouragement of Donald Byrd, who was Artist-in-Residence at DSU, Brown moved to New York City to study at the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at The New School and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. After subbing for Lewis Nash and Idris Muhammad in Joe Lovano’s bands, Brown became a founding member of Lovano’s Us Five Quintet, recording three albums, including the GRAMMY-nominated Bird Songs. He is also a member of Esperanza Spalding’s band and recorded on her debut album. Brown’s debut album as a leader, The Thought of You (Revive/Blue Note), was released in 2014.