Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Orleans Brass Bands; An American Original

Blaine's presentation today included selections by the Americus Brass Band, the Eastern Iowa Brass Band, Symphonia and the Rebirth Brass Band. As I mentioned in class, we must be sure to include the tradition of New Orleans style brass bands in our study of Brass Ensemble Literature, despite the fact that it falls under the category of "non-classical" music. Firstly, it is the only brass ensemble tradition that originated in the United States. Secondly, like all brass ensembles, it is interesting to note how they take on the challenge of repertoire with a combination of original compositions, treatments of standard jazz and dixieland tunes, and "covers" of popular music genres such as Motown, R & B, pop, and even latin jazz. This style of brass ensemble was instrumental in the development and spread of American jazz, and the fact that this genre still thrives today (with the likes of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth, and many others) is a testament to its staying power and helps secure the future of this style. Here are some concepts and links you will find valuable for further research:

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