Composer, conductor, and bandleader Anthony Branker is an Origin Records recording artist who was named in Down Beat magazine's 63rd & 62nd Annual Critics Poll as a "Rising Star Composer." Dr. Branker has nine releases in his fast growing and musically rich discography that include: What Place Can Be For Us? (Origin, 2023), Beauty Within (Origin, 2016), The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite (Origin, 2014), Uppity (Origin, 2013), Together (Origin, 2012), Dialogic (Origin, 2011), Dance Music (Origin, 2010), Blessings (Origin, 2009), and Spirit Songs (Sons of Sound, 2006), which have featured Walter Smith III, Philip Dizack, Remy LeBoeuf, Fabian Almazan, Linda May Han Oh, Donald Edwards, Pete McCann, Alison Crockett, Rudy Royston, Ralph Bowen, David Binney, Conrad Herwig, Jim Ridl, Kenny Davis, Renato Thoms, Mark Gross, Tia Fuller, Steve Wilson, Antonio Hart, Clifford Adams, Andy Hunter, Eli Asher, Jonny King, Bryan Carrott, John Benitez, Belden Bullock, Adam Cruz, Ralph Peterson Jr., Wilby Fletcher, Kadri Voorand, and Freddie Bryant.
Dr. Branker's releases Beauty Within and The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite won Gold and Silver awards respectively at the Global Music Awards and he was a Third Place Winner in the 2021 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) in the jazz category for his composition "Joy." He has received commissions, served as a visiting composer, and has had his music featured in performance in Poland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, France, Estonia, Russia, Australia, China, Germany, Lithuania, and Japan. Dr. Branker's works have also been performed and/or recorded by the New Wind Jazz Orchestra, Sylvan Winds with Max Pollack Dance Ensemble, Composers Concordance Big Band, Princeton University Orchestra, Rutgers University Jazz Ensemble, Princeton University Jazz Composers Collective, Rutgers Avant Garde Ensemble, Orrin Evans, Steve Nelson, Stanley Jordan, Talib Kibwe (TK Blue), Curtis Lundy, James Weidman, Calvin Hill, Steve Kroon, Jann Parker, and the Spirit of Life Ensemble, and have featured such guest soloists as Kenny Barron, Eddie Henderson, Winard Harper, John Hicks, Valery Ponomarev, Joe Ford, Cecil Brooks III, Onaje Allen Gumbs, and Alex Blake.
Dr. Anthony Branker was on the faculty at Princeton University for 27 years, where he held an endowed chair in jazz studies, was founding director of the program in jazz studies, and associate director of musical performance until his retirement in 2016. Currently, he is on the jazz studies faculty at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts where his teaching responsibilities have included graduate and undergraduate courses in jazz historiography, composition & arranging, theory, improvisation, and directing the Avant Garde Ensemble and Rutgers Jazz Ensemble II. Dr. Branker has also served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre and has been a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College (CUNY), Ursinus College, and the New Jersey Summer Arts Institute. He was also visiting composer at the Southern Danish Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Odense/Esbjerg, Denmark; Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany; and the Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia.