“Brian Ho is a Bay Area Organist that I’m really digging these days. He’s sounds good, doing some cool stuff, and keeping the tradition alive…the future of jazz organ is in good hands.”
- Joey DeFrancesco
“Brian Ho, rising jazz star. These days, Ho is one of the region’s most promising young jazz organists.”
- San Jose Mercury News, Andrew Gilbert
Brian Ho began playing piano at the early age of five taking lessons at both Stanford and San Jose State. By the age of sixteen, he began to play professionally and started teaching. After his college years spent studying music at UC Davis, he decided to pursue his love of music as a leader, composer, and arranger. With his vast knowledge of styles and influences that includes New Orleans, Gospel, Blues, Latin Jazz, R&B, and even Hip Hop; he has developed a unique and modern take on standards and originals that bounce with energy.
Brian performed exclusively as a pianist for years until he found a way to play a portable organ. One of the most influential experiences he had was playing for an African American Baptist Church for several years as a young teenager. This is where he first forged his love affair with the Hammond Organ. In 2009, he became an endorser for the legendary Hammond Organ. He plays the Hammond XK3c Pro XK dual manual system with the Hammond XPK-200 pedals and Leslie 3300. He also has a 1960′s Hammond A100 and vintage Leslie 122 that he take to performances as well. He solos and comps with his right hand while his left hand and feet play organ bass in the same tradition as his organ idols, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Shirley Scott, and of course, Jimmy Smith.
In early 2012, Brian released his first full CD release entitled “Organic” which features guitarist Calvin Keys (Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal), Lorca Hart, and Oscar Pangilinan. The CD features several of Brian’s original compositions along with a few choice covers and standards that he has arranged. The album debuted at #11 on the CMJ Jazz Charts. It spent 8 weeks on the CMJ jazz charts with 4 weeks in the top 20. During that time, the Jazz Week charts were down but when it went back up on June 4th, it charted in it’s first week.
Pete Fallico (KCSM 91.1, Doodlin Records) writes, “the whole package offers such a refreshing palate of organ combo grooves and sonic delights.” Andrew Gilbert (Jazz Times, San Jose Mercury News) writes, “Organic is an impressive debut.”
Brian is fortunate to play with some of the finest musicians including Richie Cole, Calvin Keys, Akira Tana, Josh Jones, Leon Joyce, Dave Ellis, Melicio Magdaluyo, Annie Sellick, Christian Tamburr, Peppe Merolla, Chuck McPherson, Bob Kenmotsu, Tony Peebles, Terrence Brewer, Lorca Hart, Clifford Brown III, Rick Vandavier, Wally Schnalle, Oscar Pangilinan, Nicholas Bearde, Jason Lewis, Jack Riordan, Joe De Rose, Jim Witzel, Scot Miller, Neil Kelly, Ken Okada, Jessica Johnson, and many more.
Brian performs regularly at several prominent concerts, jazz clubs (SF and Oakland Yoshis, etc) , jazz festivals (including the Stanford Jazz Festival, Healdsberg Jazz Festival, Sonoma Jazz Festival, Benecia Jazz Festival, SJ Jazz Festival, etc), fine restaurants and bars. He has also performed at the 2013 Hammond Organ Fellowship Concert put on by Pete Fallico. He also performs for private functions such as weddings and private corporate events. It is very common to see him with his organ trio as well as a sideman playing both piano and organ.