Jarrod Paul Bramson was born in Long Beach, CA. Jarrod’s mother, Cindy Mangutz moved to Big Bear, CA when he was 5 months old. She remembers Jarrod as a “happy and mellow” baby. She kept moving north and married Steve Mangutz when Jarrod was 3 years old. Steve then became Jarrods’s “forever dad,” as he’s lovingly referred to in the family. Soon after, Cindy and Steve welcomed Jarrod’s younger sister, Daija Brooke. Jarrod was a doting and gentle brother to his new sister; a sentiment that Daija would remember well into her adult life. “Jarrod was always very protective of me. He was a deep thinker, even as a kid. Jarrod had my back and I had his.” As they grew up together, they developed a relationship friends would describe as closeness rooted in "laughter and camaraderie”.
Steve recalls when Jarrod proclaimed at an early age that music would be his profession. Steve and Cindy bought him a little red guitar, the best they could afford, and from then on. He refused the offer of lessons and said he preferred his own process. One night after a couple years of consistent practice, Cindy and Steve over heard a sound coming from the attic they mistook for an album being played. They quickly realized it was Jarrod playing a newly learned tune. They recall looking at each other in excitement and relief. He had actually gotten good!
This self sufficiency and dedication to his art later translated to Jarrods DIY style of independent music production. He wrote, recorded, mastered and produced his own albums for his main project, Solvents and many other bands, both his and friends.
Jarrod and his family moved to Leavenworth soon after Daija was born and made their living selling Cindy’s whimsical paintings and Steve’s wood furniture at local craft fairs. Cindy and Steve reminisce they lived a humble life and the kids spent a lot of time playing outdoors.
At a young age, Jarrod became very enamored with the Star Wars movies and eagerly awaited as the saga unfolded. His most prized possession, a replica of the Millennium Falcon gave him great joy. Cindy reluctantly admits she would hide in the theaters with Jarrod and Daija and let them stay to watch the movies a second time.
Years down the road when Jarrod was asked to help a close family in a terrible situation, Jarrod offered the beloved Millennium Falcon to a young boy who was about to learn he had lost his father to a sudden illness. This act of kindness was never to be forgotten by that little boy, now 20 years old.
This loving kindness and altruism would stay constant throughout Jarrod’s life as countless stories of his generosity have emerged in the wake of his untimely death. Whether it be supporting and holding space for friends, inspiring, helping and lifting up other musicians in Port Townsend or the extraordinary and devoted love he had for his wife and daughters, Jarrod made a lasting impression on everyone he came in contact with.
The Solvents were always the first to play a benefit show for any friend or community in need. They raised thousands of dollars for natural disaster relief, friends in crisis, hurt pets and many more.
The family moved to Port Townsend in 1990. Jarrod loved it due to his love of skateboarding. He used to say PT had a better scene and he spent many hours helping to build the first skate park downtown. Jarrod also loved that he was in closer proximity to the emerging Seattle grunge rock scene.
When Jarrod became a father to twin daughters, Ana Sage and Aurora Daija Bramson on April 7, 1999, the story made the local papers. Mother, Alicia Munyer and Jarrod had elected for a natural childbirth. Ana was born first at home. Her name was supposed to be “Ana Aurora”. But when it was discovered another baby was on her way, they rushed to the hospital for the birth and split the name between the two babies.
Ana and Aurora find their father’s music to be a constant source of inspiration and love in their lives. They both describe their dad as “my favorite person” and each are carrying the torch of creative inspiration their father bestowed on them.
Alicia remembers Jarrod as a devoted and attentive father to his twins. “He was the proudest new daddy I ever saw.” And even though they eventually spilt up, they maintained a close relationship and communication in raising their daughters.
When Jarrod fell in love with Emily Madden, they had already known each other for many years. They connected deeply through music and a similar family story. Emily’s daughter Rosemary Carey was 4 at the time when Jarrod entered her life.
They formed a new family with three daughters all within a year of each other. The aptly named solvents song “Teenage Zoo” was born of this era. The girls grew in a household where music was an integral part of their days.
Rosemary said of her parent’s love that she always felt safe and appreciated their connection as being unique. She says of Jarrod, “he always kept it real”.
It was the addition of Emily’s violin and vocals to Jarrod’s band that completed the melodic engineering of the dynamically and emotionally affecting duo. Throughout the years, Solvents has taken many forms; ranging from sweet harmonies and melodic emotional softness to a rock/pop/punk full band sound. But for anyone who’s ever seen Solvents live or even just really listened, the love story of Jarrod and Emily is so prevalent in the music, it’s hard to deny.
On stage, Jarrod and Emily could communicate without saying a word. It seemed as if they completed each other and knew each other better than anyone else on the planet. They shared a deep appreciation and love that is palpable in their community. Described as “setting the bar” on how to treat your loved one.
Sometimes in life, we don’t realize how much our presence and the sharing of our gifts has affected the people around us. This can be said of Jarrod. He was truly humble and probably had very little clue as to how far his legacy would reach. Wether he preferred it or not, Jarrod became a role model for so many of us in this little picturesque port town. His passion, creativity, humor and kindness will most surely be missed by all.
Jarrod’s memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. April 20, 2019 at The Jefferson County Fairgrounds. A GoFundME has been established to support the family recover from this loss.