Hearing one of these bands live is so much fun! It’s a lot cooler to feel the live sousaphone bass blast in your body than some electro dub-step bass wobble.
The modern New Orleans funky brass bands mix in some hip-hop, boom-bap drumming, and sometimes bass & guitar. They maintain a deep New Orleans tradition, while keeping the music fresh & relevant, as they turn on new audiences touring around the US & Europe.
These bands are large in numbers of musicians (and sometimes in their girth). They always look like they are having a blast on stage, and their joy & enthusiasm is infectious.
Read this article to learn more about the popular New Orleans brass bands, and their terrific traditions. Listen to 2 Spotify playlists that highlight their dynamic cover versions & original party songs. Also, get turned onto the international brass band traditions. These brass bands are renowned for their impressive live performances, so watch the videos to see these exciting brass bands in action…
Birthplace of Jazz & Funk, New Orleans, also gives us Funky Brass Bands.
Listen here & follow this Spotify playlist.
Funky New Orleans Brass Bands & International Bad-Ass Brass Bands
These guys always get everyone dancing, and know how to work a crowd. They tour a lot! Look for Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews & Orleans Avenue, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Soul Rebels & The Hot 8 Brass Band, and Rebirth Brass Band playing at a music festival near you. Click the links to follow them on Facebook, and stay up to date on their touring schedule & new releases.
Also, there’s a fascinating book called, Talk That Music Talk, which chronicles the history of New Orleans brass bands, that you must check out. It shows how the tradition has been, and still is, passed down from elders to youth. See some one-of-a-kind historical photos of New Orleans and its dynamic brass band culture & tradition here in this article.
In addition, read this article with Tuba Fats in OffBeat Magazine to hear him talk about how he emulates stand-up bass players to get his big bottom end into the groove, and also what it’s like to play the tuba on the streets of the Crescent City.
Not all of the bands on this Spotify playlist are from New Orleans. The good brassy vibes have spread. You’ll hear from Brooklyn — Breakdown Brass & Red Baraat’s Indian Bhangra style brass. As well as from The Funky Butt Brass Band of St. Louis, with their cool cover of “Stayin’ Alive.” The Youngblood Brass Band represent Chicago & The Hackney Colliery Band hails from England.
Now watch Brooklyn’s badass Breakdown Brass blend Balkan Brass, and New Orleans Brass Band style into their own power Funk thang…
Get free, listen up & Move Your Body to the Funky Brass Bands…
New Orleans has blistering brass to spare & you’ll hear their sousaphone sluggers here — Hot 8 Brass Band, Soul Rebels, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and more on this second Spotify playlist dedicated to more funky brass band music — from New Orleans to the Balkans.
Brooklyn beats to its own drum too. We’ll start it out there with the amazing Breakdown Brass — BK’s baddest brass band — with members of Antibalas, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Monophonics & Ikebe Shakedown how can you go wrong? These dudes know how to formulate a funky brass band groove like nobody else.
Let’s go international, and also explore some other wild brass band traditions…
Indian influenced Red Baraat — a pioneering eight-piece band from Brooklyn, merging hard driving North Indian Bhangra with elements of go-go, rock and Jazz — can curry favor and get any party started with their big beats, horns & tablas. NPR called them, “The best party band in years.” Red Baraat has been touring the world like crazy, so go see them at a festival near you.
Next, let’s move it on over to the Balkans. These wild gypsies know how to party! They make some of the baddest, boldest brass band music outside The Big Easy. Boban Markovic seems to be the star of the scene. Read about him here.
Then, we close out this Spotify playlist back in Brooklyn, with “Brasslands” by Slavic Soul Party!
I told you these guys know how to party. The New York Times says they play, “brawny, oompahing tunes with riffs pumped out by pairs of trombones and trumpets in jovial contention.” and they’ve got “Fiery Balkan brass, throbbing funk grooves, Gypsy accordion wizardry, and virtuoso jazz chops.” Sounds awesome to me!
This band is truly impressive! Watch the Boban Markovic Orkestar
do their thing live in Hungary…
Have you ever been to a show with any of these exciting bands? Let us know about your experience in the comments below…