American Masters: B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Producer/Director Bio

Air date: 02/12/2016

American Masters: B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Premieres nationally Friday, February 12 at 9 p.m. (check local listings)




Jon Brewer


Jon Brewer is the producer/director of the much-lauded feature documentary,  ‘B.B. King: The Life of Riley’ and the award winning biopic feature on Nat King Cole ‘Afraid of the Dark’, commissioned by the Cole family estate and featured on the BBC in the UK.  Brewer kicked off his directing career in 2005 with ‘The CLASSIC ARTISTS Series’ followed by ‘Jimi Hendrix – The Guitar Hero, Rock Poet’ and Legends of the Canyon’. Jon also directed a 14 camera shoot at The Royal Albert Hall of the B.B. King 2011 final UK performance, and was responsible for bringing to the show Ronnie Wood, Slash, Mick Hucknell, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi.

For over 30 years, he has continued to play a pivotal role in the careers of some of rock’s most legendary artists. Beginning his career in music management, Brewer quickly rose to the top of his profession and joined forces with then up-and-coming artists such as David Bowie, Gene Clarke of the Byrds, Rolling Stones members Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman and Alvin Lee and 10 Years After.

Jon Brewer was awarded the much-coveted Ivor Novello Award for “Best Publisher” and another for “Best Song” in 1979 for Gerry Rafferty’s timeless hit “Baker Street” and another for the album “City to City”, which seized the number 1 position in the Billboard charts and also topped the charts in the UK and Europe.

He was responsible for the re-formation of the band ‘Yes’ with Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Alan White, and Rick Wakeman – well known for their on-going acrimonious relationship with each other. ‘Yes’ went on to record the ‘Keys to Ascension’ project with Brewer at the helm.

In the early 1980′s Jon Brewer was a pioneer of the video industry, and creation of the 4th largest Independent in the UK, Avatar Film Company, forming strong associations with CBS/FOX, and EMI, Universal/ CIC. In the first year of Avatar Film Company being launched, it was responsible for 20% of the turnover for CBS/FOX. The distributions branched out to Europe, Australasia, Japan, and through Universal in America, allowed Brewer to become a Producer in his own right. To control his own destiny, a sales company was set up and Brewer learned from the sales markets, the efforts of selling to distributors around the world. This brought him into the television business, and television sales.

In the year 2000, Jon Brewer was responsible for bringing to the BBC ‘The Fuji Rock Festival’ a 69-camera shoot, shot at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan with such artists as Oasis, Eminem, Alanis Morissette, and Neil Young, amongst others. This led to the making of the authorized documentary of Michael Hutchence, and also ‘Kurt Cobain – All Apologies’, on the 10th Anniversary of his death.

Having foreseen the inevitable connection between music and the DVD with all its various capabilities, Brewer began to formulate ideas for this new medium. He produced the 1st DVD on Dance Music in association with Ministry of Sound a DVD entitled ‘The Annual’, incorporating 5.1 surround sound and fantastic graphic visual effects to make a home entertainment DVD, whereby the hit songs of the time could be played during a party to combine the audio and visual experience in the home. Interviews with the latest top DJ’s were then placed on the DVD for more added options. This success led to the creation of the ‘Cream the DVD’ which was of a similar nature, with the popular ‘Cream’ brand acquired and utilized.

With a continuing participation in artists’ management, and now the worldwide acclaim of ‘B.B. King: The Life of Riley’ as well as ‘The Classic Artists Series’, for Television, DVD, IPTV, VOD, and all associated future Brand activity, as well as various other spin-offs relating to well developed with Rock Music’s legends and their management, Jon Brewer has created a niche in the industry which continues to flourish. Brewer has recently completed a three part series on the Blues, and is currently producing a documentary on Guns ‘n’ Roses in coproduction with the BBC.