In his words...
“I love music, I'm a fan of music, I'm a maker of music, and I'm an infinite student of the
industry. I've always had the distinct ability to know a hit when I hear it or make it.”
Earl Powell is a Grammy-recognized, Billboard-charting songwriter/composer, Gold certification honoree, and a native of Chicago's west-side, now continuing to make his mark in Los Angeles, CA.
Professionally, Earl is honored to be currently working with music royalty - legendary singing group The Jacksons. In addition to working with them as a group, he is also working on the solo projects of Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, and Jermaine's son Jafaar Jackson. These projects are in collaboration with industry colleagues Jeff Roberson & Mike Jackson.
Earl is proud to have received Grammy, Billboard and Gold recognition as a Writer, Producer, and Engineer on Jennifer Hudson's “Stand Up,” from her self-titled debut recording project.
Before working with Jennifer, Earl and his best friend Jack Williams were head producers at Un-D-Nyable - the record label started by Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. Their production duo was affectionately known as "E&J". This label gave birth to the musical careers of the group Entourage, from which Jay “Slique” Adams, originated, the group Strong, from which Ben One originated, as well as Dejah Gomez, performing artist who has toured extensively with Stevie Wonder, The Lion King, and many more.
A host of many more notable accomplishments in music and movies have both preceded and followed Earl's work with Jennifer, as highlighted on our Gallery page.
Beyond the studio, Earl taught Record Production at Chicago's Columbia College, an international leader and
recognized pioneer in arts and media education. He went on to introduce the same course as well as a Music Business course at Chicago's suburban Triton College. Many of his former students continue to stay in touch with him, and have gone on to establish successful, solid careers in the music business.
Beyond the institutionalized classroom setting, Earl has been an asset to the community by way of Beat Creators, an after-school not-for-profit music educational program that was started to keep music in schools & help offset budget cuts. He very fittingly implemented the program initially at his high school alma mater Manley High.
Earl's interest in music began in his elementary school years. His brother Amherst brought a trumpet home when Earl was in the 2nd or 3rd grade, Earl took it, started playing with it, and so the journey began. He joined Intermediate Band as soon as he could, which was in the 5th grade at Sumner Elementary School, under the leadership of Mr. Savage. He recalls that Mr. Savage had a table full of instruments to choose from. Because of his familiarity with the trumpet, Earl chose the trumpet and there began his formalized training. After Intermediate Band, Earl went on to join Concert Band to conclude his elementary school band experience.
Earl attended Manley High School, where he went in swinging, under the leadership of Mr. Wisniewski, affectionately known as 'Wiz'. He started off playing 3rd trumpet as a Freshman. At the end of his sophomore year until he graduated, he played 1st chair. Junior & Senior years, he was unanimously voted President of the Jazz Band, receiving much prestige and recognition, including Musician of the Year for both years.
Also during high school, under the suggestion of Mr. Wisniewski, Earl auditioned and subsequently performed with Chicago's All City Jazz Band. This was a high honor, as it was comprised of the cream of the crop players from the entire city.
Finally, Mr. Wisniewski was the one who rallied behind Earl being recognized in the 1988 - 1989 Edition of Who's Who In Music, which is an esteemed international honor.
Earl fondly reflects of his experience with Mr. Wisniewski, comparing him to the band instructor in the movie Whiplash. Wiz would (literally) throw something at you if or when you didn't get your part right. So if you didn't respect the discipline initially, you would by the time Wiz was done with you.
After high school, Earl continued his music education at the highly respected VanderCook College of Music for 2 years.
With over 25 years in this business, Earl's unofficial mission has been helping others by sharing the knowledge, wisdom and resources he's collected during this time. It's just what he does. His experience runs the gamut of working with all types, from beginners to legends, from groups to solo artists. As a Chicago native, he hails from a rich legacy of extraordinary talent, and will always aim to carry this legacy on by connecting with his clients in a way that brings the best out of them musically, thereby bringing timeless music to the world, one note at a time.