Brion, 36, son of onetime Yale University conductor Keith Brion, has been called "L.A.'s hottest producer and quirky King of Cool" by Entertainment Weekly magazine. Rolling Stone's April 27 issue calls the weekly performance by Jon Brion and Friends at the tiny Largo Cafe in Los Angeles "one of the best and most low-key music events in L.A."
And though the weekly Friday gig regularly draws such stars as [Aimee] Mann, [Fiona] Apple, Elliott Smith, Michael Penn and Robyn Hitchcock, as well as such drop-in celebrities as Michael Stipe, Elvis Costello, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Tom Cruise, Rolling Stone says, "the biggest star is Brion, who has played a cat-and-mouse game with mainstream success over the years."
Such star status is probably something he never thought about when he started banging on drums in his family's basement in New Haven. Born in Glen Ridge, N.J., Brion moved to New Haven with his family when his father took a job as band director at Yale, conducting pops symphony orchestra gigs and re-creating John Philip Sousa concerts.