Meet Sugar Brown. . .

Photo: Scott Doubt. Sugar Brown live at Maple Blues Awards, January 2017

Photo: Scott Doubt. Sugar Brown live at Maple Blues Awards, January 2017


Blues that will move you...

There is something to be said about the dedication, ambition, and determination of a scholar; the drive to be the best and to offer his best work on whatever project is presented. Enter Sugar Brown, aka Dr. Ken Kawashima, PhD. Kawashima is a professor of East Asian history, as well as a scholar of music. His chosen musical endeavour is classic blues music and a concerted effort to record and preserve the unmistakable Chicago blues sound that harkens back to Chess Records famous releases. Sugar Brown’s two album releases have stunned listeners and reviewers around the world, with his ease and force in playing and singing the blues. He quickly earned recognition for his classic style and raucous performances from the media and festival bookers coast-to- coast.

Recently, Sugar Brown’s repertoire has morphed beyond Chicago blues and into a more chaotic and wild space shared by the Texas blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Frankie Lee Sims, as well as the trance-like blues of northern Mississippi’s R.L. Burnside. Sugar Brown’s highly developed song writing, guitar prowess and vocals reveal his many diverse grooves, shades, and styles.

Sugar Brown’s blues is sweet, dark, inconsolable, raw and wild.

Noteable quotes:

“He clearly comprehends the emotion that infuses blues, as do the comrades in his band. Poor Lazarus sure brings pre-1950’s- style blues back to life!”

- Blues Blast Magazine

The Toronto-based history prof-cum-retro blues artist Sugar Brown continues to cut his own path, merging vintage sounds and styles with an individual, particularly literate lyrical bent”

- Roots Music Report

“Here you have a Japanese/ Korean-American singer- songwriter and guitarist performing the deeply African-American traditions of Chicago and droning Hill Country trance blues way up north in Toronto, Canada. If you think it might be a disaster and couldn’t possibly fly, rejoice. Sugar Brown will shake you up just a little...You want to press the replay button because this hard-driving record is pure musical pleasure and highly addictive. This is sure to raise some eyebrows in bewilderment, but it is pure fun and excitement.

- Living Blues Magazine


Artist Website