No BS! Brass Band performs at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Mix a little bit of New Orleans with a generous helping of funk and pop and you have the deliciousness that is No BS! Brass Band, the 11-piece that partied down at DC’s The Hamilton Live one recent evening.
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia (RVA all the way!), No BS! Brass Band was founded by Reggie Pace (trombone) and Lance Koehler (drums) who were students together at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Both were in separate bands and didn’t like some of the “stuff” that was going on, so they got together to form their own band and cut out “the stuff;” hence the name, No BS! Brass Band.
The Barclay Brass Quintent performs on Memorial Day in Silver Spring. (Photo by Chris Smyth)
After two days of gray, rainy weather, the skies turned blue over Silver Spring, Maryland, salvaging the long weekend, and providing a perfect environment for an outdoor concert setting. Tucked back into a neighborhood amongst the trees and cicadas, The Barclay Brass Quintet performed a two hour show on Memorial Day afternoon full of classical stylings and popular hits.
Black Masala (Photo courtesy the band)
DC gypsy brass band Black Masala livestreams a concert performance via Facebook on Wednesday, Aug. 5!
Dangermuffin performs at Sleepy Creek HarFest 2019. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Michael Tucker)
Sleepy Creek HarFest: The Place Where We Belong
Each time I go to Sleepy Creek, it feels like coming home. Although I attend a few bigger festivals each year featuring the bleeps, bloops, and synth-knob twiddling of Jamtronica I love so much, Sleepy Creek owns my heart. It’s like that favorite worn in pair of jeans that fit just right or a pair of super comfy pajama pants perfect for lounging at home. Just as importantly, the truly wonderful people who run, staff, and attend Sleepy Creek Presents events create the perfect environment for family, fun, creativity, connection, enjoyment of musical artistry as diverse as the American landscape, and, perhaps most importantly, Sleepy Creek gives festival attendees a place where they can be themselves.
During my weekend adventure at HarFest 2019 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Oct. 4-6, I saw a bumper sticker on an RV that sums up my experience; it read: “There is no alternative to being yourself” — and Sleepy Creek is exactly that: a place where we can be ourselves, a place where we belong.
Brass Against performs at The Hamilton Live on April 17, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Fists were pumping in the air at DC’s The Hamilton Live recently when Brass Against, the NYC-based brass protest band, took the stage and led the rage.
The High and Mighty Brass Band performs at 9:30 Club on Feb. 15, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
The High and Mighty Brass Band killed it at the 9:30 Club recently, appearing as the opening act for New Orleans funk jam band, Galactic on its Already Ready Already tour.
Too Many Zooz amaze the crowd at the 9:30 Club on Dec. 23, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
The New York City-based trio Too Many Zooz refer to their own music as “brass house,” which can be a bit hard to describe. Incorporating elements of up tempo ska, house, dub, and jazz, David “King of Sludge” Parks (drums/percussion), Leo Pellegrino (baritone sax), and Matt “Doe” Muirhead (trumpet/keys) have gone from busking the busy New York subway to playing alongside Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks at the 50th Annual CMA Awards in 2016.
And the trio took their brass house sound to 9:30 Club on Saturday.
Too Many Zooz (Photo courtesy Paradigm Agency)
New York City brass band Too Many Zooz call themselves a brasshouse group. That is to say, they make brass music that is also house music. Curious? You can hear them for yourself when they perform at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Dec. 22 with Big Something.
Sister Sparrow performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 29, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
How does such a beautifully soulful and booming voice come from such a small person? That is the question that first entered my mind when Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds took the stage recently at the iconic 9:30 Club.
NO BS! Brass Band performs at Black Cat on Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
It isn’t often when a band covers Tears for Fears and Michael Jackson in the same performance. But such was the case when NO BS! Brass Band took the stage recently at the Black Cat for a raw funk-filled, performance.