“Angela has written books, composed music, performed, and has remained wildly creative—from the work she does with the Orchestre Surreal, to her straight-ahead jazz gigs. She is a huge addition to the cultural landscape of L.A., making the city richer. She has never wavered from her resolve to be creative, and I love that she is constantly innovating and renewing her agreement with the universe to make sacred art.”
BILLY CHILDS, GRAMMY-WINNING COMPOSER
Introducing Angela Carole Brown
Recently transplanted from Los Angeles to Kansas City, Angela Carole Brown is an artist working in a variety of media: Writing. Music & performance. Art & design. The many sides of Angela seem to be surfacing simultaneously these days, and should she continue to be as blessed as she's been, she'll have a great many more opportunities to share all of the various sides of her art, and her heart, with you.
An award-winning indie author and poet on her own imprint Haiku House, Angela’s most recent triple-launch, released in December of 2019, are her debut poetry collections BONES and the chapbook VISCERA, and the micro-fiction 100-word story collection ALEATORY ON THE RADIO.
Angela has made her primary living as a musician and recording artist for the better part of three decades, so it’s only fitting that her first literary release, TRADING FOURS, recipient of the North Street Book Prize in Literary Fiction, would be a tale of music, as it sets itself on a single day in the life of four musicians.
TRADING FOURS has been featured on KPFK's Arts in Review, and KUCI's Blacklisted; given honorable mention in Music Connection Magazine and Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature; and featured in an Ejazznews.com article entitled Jazz Encounters of the Literary Kind, by UK columnist John Stevenson, who wrote: "Trading Fours is in few respects, a triumphant meeting ground of art and sociology.”
Featured on the podcast American Vernacular, and longlisted for the 2022 North Street Book Prize, Angela's sophomore effort, THE ASSASSINATION OF GABRIEL CHAMPION, is a fictional post-modernist tale of the rarely depicted Los Angeles art scene that explores themes of violence and redemption, setting its stage in the diverse boroughs of pre-millennial L.A. and climaxing in the feverish streets of Paris.
Angela's playful novelette, THE NIGHT, THE CITY, AND MISS THING, gives a wink to dime-store pulp fiction and film noir, as it follows the adventures of Elvis Schoenberg's Orchestre Surreal (a real-live, award-winning Los Angeles orchestra that Angela has fronted as lead singer, under the moniker The Fabulous Miss Thing, for over two decades, and at whose concerts the book is a popular sell).
Angela is also a memoirist, whose first published effort in this genre, THE KIDNEY JOURNALS: MEMOIRS OF A DESPERATE LIFESAVER, recounts her extraordinary odyssey through depression into donating a kidney. In 2012, she spoke on the experience as the keynote speaker for OTDA at Penn State, which became the linchpin for her memoir. Her most recently published poetry chapbook VISCERA has continued the saga, through narrative verse, on her kidney recipient's need for a second kidney 12 years later.
Shorter works appear in Brilliant Corners: a Journal of Jazz & Literature, MacQueen's Quinterly, Flapper Press' Poetry Café, Echoes Media vMuseum's Creating from the Ashes, Kidney.org, Soul Word Magazine, JAZZ FICTION: TAKE TWO, a collection of essays by David Rife, and forthcoming in the poetry anthology IN THE BLACK / IN THE RED from Helicon Nine Editions. Angela's poem "You Look Just Like Your Mother" originally published by Flapper Press' Poetry Cafe, has just been nominated for a 2023 Best of the Net in Poetry.
In the summer of 2021, an entire concert of choral music from the Los Angeles-based METROPOLITAN MASTER CHORALE was conceived and designed around several of Angela's 100-word stories from her collection ALEATORY ON THE RADIO, entitled "Short Stories."
She has become involved with the poetry community of Kansas City, having now been a featured poet at events from Thorny Locust Press, the Riverfront Reading Series, and the Writer's Place.
The North Street Book Prize in Literary Fiction for TRADING FOURS
The Soul Word Magazine Poetry Prize for the poem "Cotton Candy"
A haiku prize winner for the 2023 Greater Kansas City Japan Festival
She writes the blog BINDI GIRL CHRONICLES.
Music & Performance
In addition to being a writer, Angela is a veteran of the L.A. music scene after having worked for three decades as a vocalist and recording artist. She has recorded voice-overs, movie and television cues, jingles, and CDs for herself and other artists, including: Josh Groban's hit single "You Raise Me Up" on his Closer CD for Warner Brothers Records, demo tests for Matt Stone and Trey Parker, for what would become The Book of Mormon, and Mad TV's International Coffee Commercial sketch. She has worked theatre, clubs, concert halls, television, and radio, in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including her critically lauded, self-penned Off-Broadway one-woman show The Purple Sleep Café, at Primary Stages' 45th Street Theatre in New York City, and as one of the lead vocalists of the award-winning, genre-bending, and exquisitely radical 30-piece ELVIS SCHOENBERG'S ORCHESTRE SURREAL, as "The Fabulous Miss Thing," which won the 2004 Los Angeles Music Award for Best Rock Opera, for their John Anson Ford Amphitheater show Symphony of the Absurd.
Angela began her career as an actress, after graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and landing work with various Los Angeles theater companies, performing the repertoires of Shakespeare, Williams, Brecht, Shaw, and Puccini, to name a few, the experience of which has had significant bearing on her ability to interpret a lyric with genuine intimacy, and connect to a song the way an actor connects to a character she is hired to play. Jason McCloskey, in DRAMA-LOGUE (now BACK STAGE WEST), has said of her: "As Angela Carole Brown begins to sing, she underscores the fact that while most singers simply sing songs, great singers employ their voices as instruments and their songs as vehicles to create tone poems of undeniable emotional impact."
She eventually migrated from acting to singing by joining various bar bands, doing the cabaret and hotel circuit, and establishing what would turn out to be years-long alliances with wonderful musicians, and with recording work. In 1984, she won the grand prize in the first-ever (to become annual) Stardom Pursuit singing contest sponsored by the now long-gone but forever legendary Rose Tattoo Cabaret in West Hollywood.
In 1989, she signed a record contract with Tokyo's Teichiku Records, and released her debut CD, Angela, produced by David Garfield, which rose to #2 on Japan’s pop charts, leading her to be featured on Tokyo's NHK variety television show Music Dream Collection.
In the summer of 1990, she did the casino circuit from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, as a backing vocalist for Freda Payne, ending that tour with a performance on The Tonight Show. Shortly after, she began her artist's residency at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, with entertainment director Dana Bronson, which would turn out to extend for the next two and a half decades, shape her as a vocalist, and result in lasting friendships, revered professional alliances, and the jazz recording Standard Procedure with the Four Seasons Trio. She established a solid base and reputation in L.A. as a vocalist of stylistic diversity, integrity, and professionalism, with a handful of additional residencies, such as the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach's Pelican Hill, the Balboa Bay Club, and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel; and on such diverse stages as the famed Whisky a Go Go on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, The Blue Note and The Prime in Tokyo, The Blue Room in Kansas City, the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo, and the Regent Grand Formosa in Taipei City, among the many.
A brief stint in 2013 saw Angela as part of the 6-voiced Miracle Ensemble Choir that weekly opened the Miracle Mondays with Marianne Williamson at the Saban Theatre.
Not only a writer of books but of music as well, the early 2000's saw Angela launch two original music projects, whose mission was to feature her songwriting and to create live performance experiences. The Global Folk, a guitar-led trio, showcased Angela's alt-folk songs, and The Slow Club Quartet, a piano-led trio, showcased her jazz compositions. These two groups performed all over Los Angeles, including at the 2005 Playboy Jazz Festival, and resulted in the recordings Resting on the Rock, The Slow Club, Music for the Weeping Woman, and Expressionism, all on her own label, Rue de la Harpe Records.
She has had several songs placed on the web series Venice: The Series, including "Ticket Home" as the closing credit song for Season 3 Episode 8. And two compositions, "Wild Orchids" and "Pavements," selected, arranged for chorus (by Angela), and performed by the HOLLYWOOD MASTER CHORALE.
Today Angela remains The Fabulous Miss Thing with the Orchestre Surreal, continues to record and perform live, and is one of the featured women interviewed in the documentary THE GODDESS PROJECT, from filmmakers Sara Landas and Holli Rae.
Art & Design
As a visual artist, Angela has taken up the baton from her father, Ted Brown, who made his name as a graphic artist in the aerospace industry. Angela has spent time in the playground of painting, glass mosaic, handcrafted dolls in two different media (papier-mâché and hand-sewn textile with sculpted heads), the video & digital arts, and graphic design (with over 50 clients thus far, specializing in music and book covers). Her newest and current medium is Alcohol Ink on Yupo. In this medium, Angela sold all of her paintings at their first public outing, and has been regularly commissioned since she began four years ago. Angela's alcohol ink piece entitled "Northern Lights" was blessed to land the cover of the Summer 2021 edition of Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature, and many of her inks serve as the exclusive artwork throughout the new book LEGACY MEDITATIONS by the late Unity minister Reverend Marilyn Roth. Five artworks (alcohol inks + acrylic on canvas) have been featured in MacQueen's Quinterly Journal of Art & Literature. In 2022 and 2023 Angela' inks were featured in the gallery exhibits "Rhythm & Reveal" and "From the Earth," at Buttonwood Arts Space in Kansas City.
Angela's latest creation in the video arts is the children's videobook, THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD, where she has taken on the mantle of author, illustrator, narrator, and video editor, and which is one of two works to land an Official Selection for Digi-Fest Temecula 2021. The other of hers was SIX MURALS, a documentary short on the citywide Black Lives Matter mural installations that took place in Kansas City on one September day in 2020. THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD is now the recipient of both the DigiFest People's Choice Award and an Honorable Mention in the genre of Multi-Media, and both the 2021 Buddha International Film Festival's Award and the 2022 Indo Global International Film Festival's Award for Best Multimedia Film. Both these moviettes were made during the roiling socio-political climate of 2020 and a global pandemic. Because, what to do, what to do, when the world is on fire and you are a maker of things? By any means necessary, make things.
"Angela Carole Brown exudes the kind of preternatural class that is uncommon in L.A.”
HILLARY JOHNSON, LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Angela Carole Brown wiped me out for voice, beauty, and class.”
MR. BLACKWELL, BEVERLY HILLS COURIER
"Brown is so effective in the way she uses her voice, that it truly becomes another instrument in the band,
rather than the instrumentalists serving merely as her accompaniment.”
JOE MONTAGUE, RIVETING RIFFS MAGAZINE, TORONTO
“As Angela Carole Brown begins to sing, she underscores the fact that while most singers
simply sing songs, great singers employ their voices as instruments and their songs as vehicles to create
tone poems of undeniable emotional impact.”
JASON McCLOSKEY, DRAMA-LOGUE, HOLLYWOOD
“Thanks to RESTING ON THE ROCK and THE SLOW CLUB, the rest of the world gets a chance
to acquaint itself with her, and it’s well worth the trouble to look up these recordings.
As far as the material is concerned, here is a well-balanced collection of Angela's esteemed original songs.”
DOUGLAS NORSTROM, HIFI & MUZIK MAGAZINE, SWEDEN
“I know of no meatier voice than the one that lives inside Angela Carole Brown.”
PETE STROBL, THE BOTTOM-END
“She fills a room with both delicate detail and full-bodied assault.”
TR BLACK, KUCI, IRVINE
“In her one-woman show, THE PURPLE SLEEP CAFÉ, Angela Carole Brown gives us some extraordinary lessons
in what it’s like growing up as an artist, that if you've grown up as a person who must rely upon, perhaps live within,
the confines of the imagination, you grow up in a very particular kind of way, scary sometimes.
There is a moment in the play where Angela addresses the Muse, and it’s a gorgeous moment of theatre.”
CLAYTON RILEY, WLIB, NEW YORK
“Her mannered diction and narrative skills are heard to great effect on ‘Van Gogh’s Ear,’
a post-modern tale about artistic license and fate. In fact, the manner in which all her lyrics are written
is unusual and captivating, referencing anything from Shakespeare to Dylan Thomas.”
J STEVENSON, EJAZZNEWS, LONDON
"Much of this mayhem featured the vocals of the pink-platinum-haired chanteuse The Fabulous Miss Thing (Angela Carole Brown),
whose delivery sometimes resembled that of Tina Turner and who also plays a mean Theremin."
RICHARD G. GINELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"...It's the silky Eartha Kitt-ness of the indeed Fabulous Miss Thing and the free-associating wackiness of her
sometime-fez-wearing conductor/emcee that sets the group's musical direction and anything's-possible message."
BLISS, INTO THE NIGHT
“Angela Carole Brown is an amazing writer with a gift for dialogue, and TRADING FOURS engages the reader on a deep, visceral level.”
MATT ST. AMAND, AUTHOR OF “RANDHAM ACTS”
"TRADING FOURS is in few respects, a triumphant meeting ground of art and sociology."
J STEVENSON, EJAZZNEWS, LONDON
“THE ASSASSINATION OF GABRIEL CHAMPION is just a beautiful book, full of surprises,
gorgeous writing. The author is a musician and there is a lyrical quality throughout.
The story itself is as original as they get. Just read the first page...it gets even better.”
ARTURO HERNANDEZ, AUTHOR OF “PEACE IN THE STREETS”
“’The Assassination of Gabriel Champion’ is magic, madness, and raw emotion. How wonderful
when a writer has the ability to be so raw, so truthful, so intuitive about the human condition.”