Bremner has spent 25 years exploring the songs that fascinate him and the strange artform that is kabarett (...or cabaret). From John Cage to Lou Reed, from Joni Mitchell to Charles Ives, and always with a special focus on the amazing songwriting of Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht, Bremner has reveled in recording and performing songs that sit at the edges of the canon of popular song.
Bremner was born in New York and grew up in the USA, Scotland and Canada. Singing is all he ever wanted to do. Every afternoon in New York, his family would hear him down the street singing his way home from school. He started with Punk Rock bands, moved on to singing Opera, and trained at the Centre for New Opera in Canada. He currently lives between New Orleans and Paris and is singing songs from the birth of jazz, the innovative, ground- breaking repertoire of the 1920's & 30's.
His first recording, Bremner Sings Kurt Weill, was devoted to his own personal obsession, the extraordinary songs of Kurt Weill. Along with French pianist Stan Cramer, Bremner recorded sparse, heartfelt versions of Weill's repertoire, which stretches from the streets of 1920's Berlin to the dazzling lights of Broadway.
For his second CD, The Sky Was Blue, he asked the question "What is a jazz standard? Where do they come from? Why?". As an answer, Bremner created swinging arrangements of songs from his youth, from the Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell and others, placing them side by side with more traditional jazz standards.
His next recording, '33(a kabarett), is an exploration of musical, emotional, sexual and political inspirations behind the idea of Cabaret, with new arrangements of songs by Weill, Hollaender, Noel Coward and Sondheim.
His latest recording is a return to the songs of Kurt Weill, but this time with a jazz trio, with new arrangements by Scotland's Artist of the Year, pianist David Patrick. Slow, sultry, dark and intense. "I wanted to stay true to the tradition of Weill’s music, but I also wanted to go as far as possible. I wanted to take chances that would let me dive into the heart of the songs: whether those hearts were filled with love or murder".
Over the past decade, Bremner has been exploring New Cabaret, creating performance pieces that are an emotional collage of ideas and songs. These pieces have been performed across North America and Europe to critical praise: "A stunning theatrical achievement"—Edmonton Journal. "Duthie brings passion, power and conviction to the songs"—The Stage. "Captivating performances of Kurt Weill's songs... beautifully delivered with power and emotion"—Edfringe Review. "Duthie is a baritone with operatic scope; instead of mere interludes, the songs become weapons”—See Magazine, Canada. “And my god, does he ever sing. Bremner's performance is jaw-dropping-my jaw literally dropped"—View Magazine.
Bremner has performed in venues that vary from stadiums in Tokyo, to state theatres in Germany, to improvised atelier-lofts in Paris, ex-Soviet theatres in Mongolia and table-top stages in hard drinking bars in along Lake Superior. He says that each had its own particular delights
"And my god, does he ever sing. Bremner's performance is jaw-dropping-my jaw literally dropped" - View Magazine, Canada
"Bremner Duthie has.... a voice of power and inner beauty that commands the whole space..... One feels seduced by the sheer power and beauty of this performance" - Musical Stages Magazine, UK
"The power of Duthie's voice keeps the audience glued to his performance with applause after applause as each song is laid to rest. Singing in multiple languages and executing them to convey the emotion to the audience, not the actual words, shows artistic and masterful craftsmanship." - Plank Magazine, Canada
“Bremner Duthie, whose credits include a hit Kurt Weill cabaret, is the real thing. He’s an intense and expert singer — and more than that, performer— of the ’30s repertoire, in English, French, German, Yiddish. “I don’t speak any language any more.” He gives a sardonic grin, cutting edges, and the sense of a lost era to Boulevard of Broken Dreams, say, or Thanks For The Memories. He makes Noel Coward’s arch little ditty Why Must The Show Go On? a question worth asking, and Lover Come Back To Me an act of mourning. Mac The Knife is a veritable slash of dissonance and horror.” - Edmonton Sun, Canada
"When he sings, his voice is like a big, dark, sultry room --full of emotive and expressive possibilities. Even when Duthie sings in languages other than English, the passion and subtext come startlingly alive." - The Georgia Straight, Vancouver
"Listening to Duthie sing is like sipping hot chocolate topped with cream, sitting on a sun terrace high up in the French Alps, snow all around." - Theatreworld Magazine, London, England
"Folks, you have not LIVED until you’ve heard Bremner Fletcher Duthie sing ‘Mack the Knife’ to you.” - The Visitorium, Ottawa
“Duthie channels a classic cabaret singer’s voice - his authentically menacing rendition of Mack the Knife will sand-blast the Bobby Darrin treacle from your ears, and his Falling in Love Again, sung in both German and English, has just the right touch of Marlene Dietrich/Blue Angel gravel.” - Edmonton Journal