Tag Archives: brass band

Bandadriatica’s Musical Odyssey

Bandadriatica – Odissea (Finisterre, 2018)

Bandadriatica, the mighty brass band from southern Italy explores various musical regions beyond its native southern Italy on Odissea (Odyssey).

The succulent, explosive mix incorporates the mesmerizing percussive tambourine sounds and accordion of Salento (southern Italy), high energy Balkan brass, rock guitars inspired by Saharan desert blues, and trance-like North African Gnawa rhythms plus fascinating spoken word.

The ensemble includes Claudio Prima on organetto (accordion), vocals; Emanuele Coluccia on alto, tenor and soprano saxophone; Andrea Perrone on trumpet; Vincenzo Grasso on clarinet; Gaetano Carrozzo on trombone; Morris Pellizzari on electric guitar, mandolin and saz; Giuseppe Spedicato on electric bass and tuba; and Ovidio Venturoso on drums.

Guests: Giovanni Chirico on baritone saxophone; Antonio Castrignano on vocals and tamburello; Redi Hasa on cello; Simone Giorgino on spoken word; Roberto Chiga on tamburello; Lioness Afreeka, Federico Buttazzo, Alessandra Ferrari, Aldo Orlando and Maria Scogna on backing vocals.

Previous recordings include Contagio ‎(Finisterre, 2007), Maremoto (2009), Casa (2012), Arriva La Banda! (2012) and Babilonia ‎(Finisterre, 2015).


Artist Profiles: Fanfare Savale

Fanfare Savale

Fanfare Savale comes from a tiny Eastern Romanian village that has less than two hundred Gypsy inhabitants, where any male can play at least one brass instrument. The area probably has the largest number of bands in Europe. This is the place where the Savale brass band comes from. It would be difficult to follow back in time their vast musical heritage as they have been playing music ever since they can remember and the gift of music and the instruments are passed from one generation to the other.

From kids that are three years old to seventy year old grandparents, each person is a skilled and fully trained musician here.

These Romanian Gypsies earn their living by working their lands and playing music at various feasts, weddings and funeral services. Usually they gather and play music only to cheer themselves up. On the other opportunities, e.g. on the so called “Green Gypsy Thursday” hundred of brass players come together from different villages, to demonstrate their skills, compete and party ”in private”, without entertaining any audience.

These traditions have been preserved for centuries and the Savale are playing something peculiar in this Romanian regionGypsy music that combines the traditions of ancient Gypsy music at a breathtaking speed – up to 200 beats per minute – with those of the Balkan area, producing wonderfully rhythmic tunes played. These twelve musicians know extremely well the various music style and although, most of them are barely able to play music by notes, can play any tune after hearing it only once.

sThe Savale had a large number of performance in Romania, they were invited to music festivals, carnivals and various celebrations, have played several times in Hungary and recorded a few tunes for a German studio.

Line up: Ivancea Ciprian Catalin, Ivancea Craciun, Raducanu Dumitru, Burca Panagache, Margeanu Gheorghe, Dragoi Gheorghe, Ivancea Iosif, Cantea Georgel, Dusu Ion, Preda Costica, Conache Gheorghe.


Speed Brass Of The Gypsies (Sub Rosa, 2007)


The Entertaining Crosscultural Brass Sounds of Salento

Cesare Dell’Anna and GirodiBanda – Guerra

Cesare Dell’Anna and GirodiBanda – Guerra (11/8 Records, 2018)

On the album Guerra, Italian trumpeter Cesare Dell’Anna explores various musical genres from a brass band perspective. The album features an odd mix of Italian street marches and sounds, Balkan brass sections, reggae beats, Middle Eastern street references, pizzica, dub, Salento folk dance songs, and the voices of street vendors.

There is a lot of fun and social criticism as well. American president Trump is disapproved on the song “Trump@, cavallo di ritorno palestinese.”

Cesare Dell’Anna directs the show, on vocals and playing trumpet, bombardino, drums, percussion and Moog synth. He is joined by a band from Puglia and the brass ensemble Opa Cupa. On Guerra, Cesare Dell’Anna also enlisted the most charming and expressive voices of the Salento tradition: Enzo Petrachi, Claudio Cavallo, Irene Lungo, Rachele Andrioli, Maria Mazzotta, Pino Ingrosso, Puccia, and Talla.

During live concerts, the cast of musicians and vocalists is joined by jugglers and street artists who create an amusing traveling street parade show.

Buy Guerra


The High-Energy Sound of Trains and Moonlight Destinies

Black Masala – Trains and Moonlight Destinies

Black Masala – Trains and Moonlight Destinies (Black Masala Music, 2018)

Black Masala represents the modern brass band cross-cultural sound of the Washington DC area. Trains and Moonlight Destinies incorporates a powerful, multifaceted and infectious mix of Balkan, bhangra, pop, rock, funk, blues, soul, New Orlean-style brass and fast-paced ska.

The Black Masala members are Mike Ounallah on drums/ vocals; Kristen Long on vocal/ percussion; Brendan Schnabel on tenor and soprano sax; Kirsten Warfield on trombone; Michael DiCiurci on sousaphone; Chris Lee (Moogatu) on guitar; Jacob Dalager on trumpet; Peter Kalavatrinos on guitar; and Scott Clement on bass.

Buy Trains and Moonlight Destinies


Artist Profiles: Kocani Orkestar

Kocani Orkestar

Kocani Orkestar, Macedonia’s most accomplished and best-known gypsy brass band, featured in the film “Time of the Gypsies” and take their name from a nearby town on the outskirts of Skopje, where such music is known to this day as romska orientalna muzika (?oriental gypsy band?).

The line-up consists of two trumpets, one clarinet, one saxophone, four tubas and one tapan, a large double-skinned cylindrical drum, beaten in complex rhythmic patterns with a heavy stick in one hand and a thin switch in the other.

The group’s international recognition came after they were discovered by Michel Winter and Stefan Karo, the same team responsible for first bringing Romania’s much-loved gypsy troupe, Taraf de Haidouks, to world attention. Both acts were signed to Belgium’s Crammed label, which led to the Kocani Orkestar guesting on the Taraf’s Band of Gypsies album.

Kocani Orkestar’s critical breakthrough came with their acclaimed second release, L’ Orient Est Rouge, a showcase of gypsy eclecticism, integrating original pieces into the traditional brass band repertoire, all played in a dazzling array of complex time-signatures. The title song came from China and there were Hindi film songs alongside their versions of local Macedonian dance tunes, as well as a great version of the Roma anthem, “Djelem, Djelem”.

The Orkestar continued to go from strength to strength with a new and expanded line-up. Their album Alone at My Wedding, explores the music that accompanies the three-day traditional gypsy weddings that still take place regularly all over the Balkan region. With typical gypsy diversity, Turkish and Bulgarian rhythms are married to local folk dances, with even a dash of Latin flavor thrown in for good measure.

The record also finds the Orkestar transcending the strict boundaries of the brass band genre (not that gypsy musicians ever had much respect for boundaries of any description) by showcasing the talent of their new vocalis, the charismatic young Ajnur Azizov, who sings variously in Slavic, Turkish and Roma.

At the same time, they can rock like an untamed, mutant gypsy funk band, mixing James Brown-style brass riffs with oriental and eastern European influences. The thundering rhythm is provided by the tapan drum of Saban Jasarov and the four tubas of Redzai Durmisev, Nijazi Alimov, Sukri Zejnelov and Suad Asanov. Then there are passionate, wailing solos courtesy of sax player Durak Demirov, the two trumpeters Turan Gaberov and Sukri Kadriev, and Dzeladin Demirov on clarinet.

Live, Kocani Orkestar are an even mightier experience, and whether they?re playing at a gypsy wedding in Kocani or in the more sedate setting of a western concert hall, it apparently makes no difference to their feral approach.


A Gypsy Brass Band (Long Distance, 1994)
L’Orient Est Rouge (Cramworld, 1997)
Gypsy Mambo (Yeni Dünya Müzik, 1999)
Cigance (pläne, 2000)
Gypsy Folies (pläne, 2002)
Alone At My Wedding (Crammed Discs, 2002)
Ulixes (Materiali Sonori, 2002)
Live (Il Manifesto, 2005)
The Ravished Bride (Crammed Discs, 2008)
Band Of Gypsies 2 (Crammed Discs, 2011)
Jazzwerkstatt Peitz Live / Live In Concert (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011)
Romeo Scaccia Meets Kocani Orkestar (Morgenland, 2011)


The Wild Brass of Downtown New York City

Hungry March Band – Running Through with the Sadness

Hungry March Band – Running Through with the Sadness (Imaginator Records, 2018)

Hungry March Band has the format of a classic American marching band with a large brass section and drums. However, their sound and look is totally different from school marching bands. Hungry March Band’s foundation is jazz and improvisation. However, this group of men and women in colorful clothes have an eclectic taste, incorporating world music which they perform at street events and concert venues.

Running Through with the Sadness has structured musical pieces and improvisation as well. The global music influences include fast faced Dominican merengue, Malian Wassulu music, irresistible ska, New Orleans-style funk, Latin jazz and more.

The musicians featured in Running Through with the Sadness include Emily Fairey on tenor saxophone; Sasha Sumner on soprano; Jason Candler on alto and baritone saxophone; Tove Langhof on tenor saxophone; Okkon Tomohiko Yokoyama on alto saxophone; Phillippe Boyer on tenor saxophone; Cousin John Heyenga, Jeremy Mushlin, John Waters and Jennifer Harder on trumpets; Sebastian Isler, Cecil Scheib and Kevin Virgilio on trombones; Tom Abbs and Ben Fausch on sousaphones; Kris Anton and Anders Nelson on snare drum; David Rogers-Berry on bass drum; Samantha Tsistinas on cymbals; Adam Loudermilk on hand percussion; Sara Valentine on clave, cowbell; and Theresa Westerdahl on tambourine.

Running Through with the Sadness is a hip-shaking, toe-tapping wild brass ride through the world of jazz and global rhythms.

Buy Running Through with the Sadness


Artist Profiles: Rebirth Brass Band

Rebirth Brass Band

New Orleans ensemble Rebirth Brass Band was formed in 1983. The group carries musical tradition through the decades with a revolving cast of musicians.

Brothers Philip and Keith Frazier and their friend Kermit Ruffins first started the band with members of the Joseph S. Clark Senior High School marching band. Rebirth has recorded many albums won a Grammy and toured Europe and the U.S.

Rebirth Brass Band has seen its share of hardships. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated their home city including the neighborhood of Treme which is now widely known due to the HBO TV series of the same name which followed neighborhood citizens as they rebuilt their homes and lives. Through the years Rebirth Brass Band which was featured in the series has used music to create hope unity and a sense of place even while marching around the world.


Here to Stay! (Arhoolie Records, 1984)
Feel Like Funkin’ It Up (Rounder Records, 1989)
Do Whatcha Wanna (Mardi Gras Records, 1991)
Rebirth Kickin’ It Live (Rounder Records, 1991)
Take It To The Street (Rounder Records, 1992)
Rollin’ (Rounder Records, 1994)
We Come To Party (Shanachie, 1997)
Main Event: Live At The Maple Leaf (Mardi Gras Records, 1999)
Hot Venom (Mardi Gras Records, 2001)
Rebirth for Life (2004)
Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band (Mardi Gras Records, 2004)
Throwback (Basin Street Records, 2005)
25! 25th Anniversary Album (2008)
Rebirth of New Orleans (Basin Street Records, 2011)
Move Your Body (Basin Street Records, 2014)


Never A Dull Moment (2007)


101 Brass Band to perform at WOMAD Gran Canaria 2017

101 Brass Band

101 Brass Band is set to perform Friday, November 10, 2017 at WOMAD Gran Canaria. The concert will take place at 7:00 pm on stage 2 at Parque de Santa Catalina in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

101 Brass Band was formed in La Orotava in northern Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) in early 2014. The musicians were inspired by Balkan, South American and U.S. brass bands.

The band, known among its numerous followers as “La 101”, owes its name to a well-known and busy bus line in northern Tenerife that connects the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife with Puerto de la Cruz, stopping in all towns.


Rap and Balkan Brass

Mr. Lif and Brass Menazeri – Resilient

Mr. Lif and Brass Menazeri – Resilient (Waximile Productions, 2017)

Resilient brings together hip hop artist Mr. Lif and San Francisco Bay area brass band Brass Menazeri. Resilient is essentially a mainstream rap album with Balkan-style brass.

If you like hip hop and don’t mind the explicit lyrics, this is a rare combination that may appeal to you.


West Philly Orchestra’s Balkan Party

West Philly Orchestra (WPO) – Tour De Filli

West Philly Orchestra (WPO) – Tour De Filli (Fly Bottle Records, 2016)

On Tour De Filli, the West Philly Orchestra Album plays fun, infectious Balkan dance music. The ensemble’s foundation is Eastern European brass band music, Gypsy melodies, American jazz improvisation and vocals by Bulgarian artist Petia Zamfirova who sings in English, Romani and Bulgarian.



Buy Tour De Filli