24 December 2010

The El Paso Brass

One of the Southwest United States' finest brass quintets, renowned for outstanding musicianship and the diversity of its repertoire.
Thae ensemble is composed of key members of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and other distinguished musicians from the Southwest.
Each member of EPB is also an educator and the ensemble has many performance programs which place an emphasis on education as well as entertainment. These programs have been presented to more than 100,000 students as part of EPB's "Brass in Class" series.
All the things you are

Double Trouble-Duet for Tuba by Barbara Thompson

Tuba virtuosi Les Neish & James Gourlay perform Barbara Thompson's composition, "Double Trouble" at the launch party for the CD of the same name.

22 December 2010

The Cosy Brass Quartet (Belgium)

The Cosy Brass Quartet invites you on its voyage of discovery through the musical world from the 19th century till today.
Since its foundation in 1999, the Cosy Brass Quartet aims for a revival of the saxhorn brass quartet, giving it its merited role on the concert-scene.

Its strength (two cornets, tenorhorn and euphonium) allows the Cosy Brass Quartet to produce a warm and vivid sound, resulting in an extraordinary musical experience and offering well balanced ensemble-playing. As from its first musical appearance, the quartet is described as "most pleasant" and "sounding surprisingly fresh".

The Cosy Brass Quartet is exceptional in its musical qualities as well as in its repertoire. The program offers well-known names as well as works of the most respected Belgian composers, always in a light and entertaining performance.

The Cosy Brass Quartet collaborates with the Dutch KRO- and the Belgian CANVAS-television. It cooperates with both the Belgian Radio 2 and KLARA classical radio and plays at the prestigious 'Festival Van Vlaanderen'.

In 2004 the Cosy Brass Quartet participates successfully in two international contests: it wins the 'Internationale Ensemble- en Solistenwedstrijd' in Kerkrade (the Netherlands) and the 'British Open Soloist and Quartet Championships' in Manchester (England). Members of the jury appreciated 'the fine balanced and transparent ensemble-playing'.
In 2006 the Cosy Brass Quartet again wins the first prize in Kerkrade, and in 2008 it regains the winners cup in Manchester.

19 December 2010

Heavy Tuba (Austria)

Heavy Tuba was founded by Heimo Schmid in 1993. The musicians are from the Upper Austrian classical and jazz scene. Three tubas, four euphoniums, doubling at times on trombone, als well as a rhythm section of five contributes to the perhaps untraditional sound.
Since 1997 is the British vocalist Dorretta Carter a member of the ensemble.
The band cooperated with tuba soloists Jon Sass (4CDs), Howard Johnson and Joe Daley. Heavy Tuba combines classic, jazz, rock, funk and soul and cannot be compared to any other group.
The common place or usual is not what „Heavy Tuba“ ist about.They present once again the virtouosity of modern tuba playing in its unique substance. Nevertheless, the good old themes cannot be denied – exactly the opposite. It is music that definitely goes in your ear, but cannot be cubbyholed or easily classified.

Intrada Brass (GB)

Intrada Brass Ensemble is based in Preston in Lancashire, England, and was formed originally as a quartet in the 1970's, gradually developing into the 11-piece ensemble we have today. Intrada uses, for the most part, a 10-piece formation plus percussion, consisting of four trumpets, french horn, four trombones, tuba and percussion. This expanded brass quintet was developed in order to play a wider variety of music in concert situations than is possible with more conventional and smaller ensembles. The flexibility it gives to composers and arrangers, in terms of texture, colour, range and dynamic contrast, are considerable, especially when mutes and other instruments such as piccolo and D/Eb trumpets, flugel horn and a wide variety of percussion are skillfully wielded.
They carry out all sorts of engagements, from easy listening and wedding music, to full formal concerts. Some of these involve other performers, such as choirs, while others feature the variety of Intrada Brass Ensemble exclusively. Intrada is available in its full 11-piece formation, or smaller groups (quintet, for example) to provide that extra special accompaniment to wedding ceremonies.

A considerable amount of our repertoire is arranged by members of the ensemble, which means that Intrada will always have something new to listen to, though they don't neglect any of the old favorites. They play a wide range of light music through to classical.

18 December 2010

Burning River Brass (USA)

Since 1996, Burning River Brass has been dazzling audiences from Alaska to Taiwan with "power and virtuosity," "harmonious blend," and "consistently stirring performances." Composed of twelve of the finest brass and percussion players in the country, Burning River Brass is an ensemble on fire!

The original inspiration behind Burning River Brass was to give great players who were also good friends a chance to play together on a consistent basis. Soon after the first rehearsal in May 1996, BRB began to grow rapidly. The ensemble made its debut in September of 1996 in Tremont, Ohio under the auspices of Arts Renaissance Tremont and by 1998 was touring nationally.

Burning River Brass is consistently applauded for the infectious joy with which it performs. In concert, the ensemble presents a variety of music designed to satisfy the tastes of every audience. BRB’s repertoire includes fresh arrangements of classic literature as well as original works written specifically for the group. The camaraderie continues into BRB’s educational and outreach programs, where the players provide students with a rich, positive experience to encourage their enthusiasm for music in the future.

05 December 2010

Bay Street Brassworks (USA)

Bay Street Brassworks is one of America's finest and busiest brass ensembles. Founded in 1995, this versatile brass quintet performs a wide variety of musical genres ranging from classical music to Dixieland jazz; show tunes, classic rock, movie music, and anything in between. This professional brass quintet is based in Baltimore, Maryland and Indianapolis, Indiana. The ensemble is also part of the touring rosters of River City Artists Management and Producers, Inc., Tampa, Florida, and formerly on the touring roster with "Live on Stage" LLC, Nashville, Tennessee, bringing the music of Bay Street Brassworks to audiences throughout the United States and abroad.

Bay Street Brassworks range of musical abilities has produced engagements ranging from opening ceremonies at Baltimore Orioles baseball games to world premier performances and clinics alongside the American Brass Quintet, Harvey Phillips, Gunther Schuller and Eric Ewazen at the 2004 Brass Chamber Music Forum in Boone, North Carolina, honoring the 50th anniversary of the New York Brass Quintet.

In 2004, renowned percussionist Amin Gumbs joined the ensemble bringing a texture to the group that has audiences taking notice and wanting more.

Artistic collaborations with other world-class artists have resulted in performances with members of the Annapolis and New York Brass Quintets, the Baltimore Symphony brass section, principal trumpet of the National Symphony Orchestra Steven Hendrickson and conductor Harlan Parker. Musical explorations have ranged from Eric Ewazen's Shadowcatcher and Fisher Tull's Concerto Grosso to Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata.

Bay Street Brassworks has performed at most of the major Universities from coast to coast and is the premiere educational brass ensemble of its kind, having cooperative relationships with a number of Young Audiences state organizations, providing both educational and concert opportunities. The musicians derive great satisfaction from their youth activities and spend considerable amounts of their time encouraging and mentoring young brass players across the country. Currently, Bay Street Brassworks are performing artists for Young Audiences of Maryland, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, North Carolina, The Johnston County Arts Council, North Carolina, The Arts Council of Fayetteville / Cumberland County, North Carolina, and the South Carolina Arts Commission. The ensemble has performed hundreds of educational programs, demonstration concerts, master classes, as well as, individual instructional clinics.


More to read...

David Childs

King Edward III once said: "If you want to train a longbowman, start with his grandfather." This adage holds just as true for British euphonium soloist David Childs, born in the mining village of Grimethorpe in 1981, to a family whose name had been synonymous with brass for the last two generations. His grandfather John was a well-respected euphonium player from the Welsh Valleys who inspired his sons, Robert & Nicholas to take up euphonium. Robert began teaching his son David from an early age and in recent years David has emerged as one of the finest brass soloists of his generation.

In the year 2000 he broke new ground for the euphonium becoming the first euphonium soloist to win the brass final of the televised 'BBC Young Musician of the Year’ which led to David’s highly acclaimed première performance of Philip Wilby’s Concerto for Euphonium with the BBC Philharmonic under the direction of Yan Pascal Totelier. In the same year David was awarded the coveted ‘Euphonium Player of the Year’ title, a title he won again in 2004 and still holds today. Since that time David has been instrumental in raising the euphonium’s profile in the classical world of music and has not ceased to wow audiences with his astonishing technique, extrovert musicality and engaging stage presence.


Holton TR395 MF Super Bone

Famed recording artist Maynard Ferguson first brought the Holton TR395 MF Super Bone to fame.
The Holton MF Superbone features both a trombone hand slide for the right hand and 3 valves for the left hand that can both be used at the same time. The Super Bone is available in lacquer finish.
Also called the double trombone, the TR395 combines all of the characteristics of a slide trombone with all of the advantages of a valve trombone.
Musicians may perform any slide/valve combination accurately and smoothy, while eliminating excessive hand movements.
It allows special Effects from any pitch to any other pitch as well as Vibrato on any other pitch. The TR395 is free-blowing throughout its diversified system.

The Cleveland Orchestra's horn section

EASTLAKE, Ohio -- The factory floor at Conn-Selmer Inc. in Eastlake is a decidedly unmusical place. Most employees, in fact, wear ear-plugs to drown out the noise of machines constantly cutting, shaping and baking metal.
Yet this is where a unique collaboration between the Cleveland Orchestra and a nearby manufacturer took root. It's here where some of the world's top musicians and a local producer of brass instruments first united in a harmonious partnership now garnering prestige and business around the world.
"Once people hear the Cleveland Orchestra is playing our instruments, that helps a lot," said Mark Gifford, the plant's product engineer. "They go out the door as fast as we can build them."
Like every tale of innovation, this one begins with a problem.

A few years ago, Richard King, principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, needed a new instrument, a replacement for the Conn 8D he'd been playing for ages. Problem was, newer versions of the widely prized horn didn't compare with the instruments made 40 or 50 years ago.

Rather than track down another second-hand horn, however, King went to Conn-Selmer, a respected maker of band and orchestral instruments, and persuaded the company to re-fashion the 8D according to principles of the original design. Before long, by late 2008, he had a shiny new replica in his hands.

"I was really surprised they started making an instrument I liked better than the one I'd been playing for 20 years," King said, noting the new horn's craftsmanship, sound quality and resonant nickel-silver alloy.

But the tale doesn't end with the making of a custom horn for one high-priority customer. At King's suggestion, Conn-Selmer resurrected the entire model, now called C.G. Conn Vintage 8D. Each horn is built from scratch in Eastlake along with trumpets, trombones, tubas and other brass instruments.


28 November 2010

The West Point Brass (USA)

The West Point Brass (formerly the Storm King Brass) is comprised of musicians in the West Point Band. Founded in 2003, the ensemble presents a diverse repertoire, from Renaissance to modern works, to its audiences. In support of military functions, the quintet has entertained the United States Corps of Cadets and performed for many visiting dignitaries and heads of state at West Point. Additionally, the ensemble actively performs throughout the New York metropolitan area. The ensemble has also been featured throughout the country, including performances in Florida, Oregon, Connecticut, South Dakota, Utah, and Iowa.

Two-Step for Mr. B
MTV for Jerry

The United States Army Brass Quintet

The U.S. Army Brass Quintet has entertained nation-wide audiences with its performances on National Public Radio, NBC’s “Today Show,” the CBS “Sunday Morning Show,” ABC, Fox TV, CNN, TNN, “Larry King Live,” as well as international audiences on the BBC. It has also performed on a wide variety of local and regional broadcasts such as WCBS in New York. Recently, the Army Brass Quintet found itself performing the National Anthem for televised Major League Baseball, NBA, and NHL games as well as NASCAR races. It has even been featured on the Food Network.

The repertoire for the ensemble includes over 500 selections from all eras and genres of classical music as well as a variety of popular music, interactive entertainment, video, and works for children’s concerts. The Army Brass Quintet’s library also includes historic music from the American Civil War which the ensemble enjoys performing on authentic instruments. Commissioned works as well as works produced by The U.S. Army Band’s arranging staff complete its repertoire.

The U.S. Army Brass Quintet enjoys an outstanding tradition of supporting national and international educational conferences such as Music Educators National Conference, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as the international conferences of the various brass associations. The ensemble was the first military group to start the tradition of performing for the instrument associations in 1977 at the International Trumpet Guild Conference.

07 August 2010

Guca Madness 13-08 - 22-08-10 (Serbia)

The village of gucha in the Dragacevo district, peaceful and colorful part of western Serbia , has gained world fame owing to its Assembly of Trumpet Players, the largest trumpet event on the planet. The love of the people of Dragacevo for music, especially for the trumpet, began in the rule of Prince Milos Obrenovic, who ordered the formation of the first military band in 1831. From then until now the trumpet has reigned here uninterrupted while woodwind instruments, in keeping with the customs, warm the soul of its population. The sound of the trumpet traditionally accompanies every major event in Serbia's rural and small-town life: births, baptisms, weddings, Slav {family patron saint day}, farewell parties for those joining military service, state and church festivals, harvesting, reaping, and also departing this world. Appropriate music is played on these occasions, thus preserving the spirit of the existing tradition. The music is very diverse: from indigenous melodies, via kolo {a fast-rhythm chain dance}, marches and characteristic southern Serbia cocek dances, all the way to tunes that have emerged more recently, but always taking care to honor old harmonies. This music has won over the hearts of not only the local population, but has also warmed the hearts of outsiders and foreigners. In the several days of the Gucha festival, hardly anyone can resist giving themselves to the adrenalin-rushing rhythms and melodies that simply force one to jump to ones feet and dance.


Guca 2007 - Documentary
Geüpload door nickstreet83. - Muziek video's, interviews met artiesten, concerten en meer.

27 June 2010

Durham International Festival 3-18 July 2010 (UK)

The sun is shining and summer is on its way, this can only mean one thing - BRASS 2010: Durham International Festival is just around the corner.

Saturday 3rd July signals the start of a monster programme of Brass music from Trad to Funk, Classical to Jazz and Afro-beat to Soul… the World Music community is preparing to pack its suitcase and head to one of Europe’s only festivals dedicated to the much loved sound of Brass.
Festival organisers [Durham County Council] have dug deep into the roots of Brass to assemble a fresh programme that can move, groove and prove the true power and magnetism of Brass music; and especially emphasise the high quality of British Brass bands playing in Britain today.
“BRASS is gaining a growing global reputation for inspiring a whole new generation of musicians. The festival’s versatility enables talented young amateur players to perform alongside professional musicians at the top of their game. The showcase is keeping the spirit of Brass music alive,” said Neil Hillier, Strategic Manager – Heritage and Culture for Durham County Council.

This year’s festival is pulling no punches as it promises to be a knockout event providing two weeks of the hottest music and performance around. BRASS has it all, BIG names, BIG sounds and BIG aspirations.
Music goers can pack their festival fortnight full to bursting point with music that will entertain, astound and inspire - created by elite performers who’ve been gathered from over 20 countries from around the world including Germany, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Benin and the UK.
The shows will take place in a variety of venues, large and small across County Durham including The Gala Theatre, Durham Cathedral, Durham Town Hall, Durham University’s Students Union and Passmore's Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee.

The line-up of performances can be experienced right across County Durham from Durham City through to rural village halls. BRASS combines ‘the Best of the Best’ with a crop of up and coming stars of the future, performing concerts, collaborations, residencies and practical workshops.

Go to the festival highlights!

05 May 2010

Slokar Quartet (Switzerland)

The Slokar Quartet whose members are Branimir Slokar, György Gyivicsan, Wassil Christov and Armin Bachmann, have already celebrated their 35th anniversary.
During this long and fruitful period of intense concert activity all over the world they have built up a very broad repertoire which ranges from arrangements of early baroque music to first performances of contemporary works. These four dedicated mudicians delight their audiences with their homogeneous sound, their brilliant virtuosity and their profound musicianship, which they often present in a very charming and humorous manner.
Many important contemporary composers have been inspired to collaborate intensively with the Slokar Quartet, which has led to a significant expansion of present-day trombone literature.
The latest Slokar Quartet CD - "Trombone Virtuoso" is on its way now!

01 May 2010

Hans Gansch

Hans Gansch was born in 1953 in Kirnberg an der Mank, Austria. At the age of seven, he received his first music instruction from his father Johann Gansch (on the recorder and the small drum). When he was 11, he started playing trumpet in a band lead by his father. He studied trumpet with Professor Franz Veigl at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz.
From 1974 to 1976 he held the position as principal trumpeter with the Brucknerorchester Linz and from 1976 to 1982 he held the same position in the Symphony Orchestra of the Austrian Broadcast. From 1982 to 1996 he was first trumpeter in the Orchestra of the Viennese State Opera and with the Vienna Philharmonic. Since 1996, Hans Gansch has been trumpet professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Raya Brass Band (USA)

Raya Brass Band (pronounced “RYE ah”) is the sort of brass band that gleefully mashes up the music of Eastern Europe with funky American dance grooves, Reggaeton, and whatever else it gets its hands on. Featuring odd meters, unusual scales and a fine helping of gorgeous Balkan and Romany (Gypsy) melodies played on reeds, trumpet, accordion, tuba and drums, Raya Brass Band slakes the thirst for something old and new at the same time, unusual and funky, spiritedly played by some of NYC’s finest Balkan folk musicians.

Raya Brass Band draws in both average listeners and Eastern European folk music aficionados alike with its energetic and engaging portable show. As a fully acoustic ensemble, Raya Brass Band can wander freely, bringing a Balkan style dance party everywhere it goes. With members of the band ready to teach basic Balkan dances at the drop of a hat, the audience can choose to listen, learn some new dance steps, or shake everything they’ve got however they like!

29 April 2010

Jorgen Welander (Sweden) - Funky tuba solo

Brass Ballet (Germany)

BRASSBALLETT is not just the name of a band, but a new musical genre.
That kind of music which transforms musicians into dancers and the practice room into a dancehall.
Modern brass music fuses with such styles of dance like Hip-Hop, Salsa, Street Dance, Tango and many more.
It’s all about reaching one goal: that you, dear audience won’t get bored and possibly will be able to say it the end of our show – WOW!
Video HERE and HERE

05 April 2010

Brett Baker (UK)

"The name Brett Baker has become an established, household name in the world of brass, not least for the level of commitment and focus that this outstanding musician has given to his craft. Brett has always combined ‘Nature with Nurture' in an ever evolving quest for personal fulfilment in and through his music making. His outstanding musical accomplishments are testament to his ‘can do' attitude combining his talent with tenacity and his desire with determination. Brett was always destined to fulfil his personal goals and aspirations and I believe the future ‘new generation' of British brass enthusiasts have much to glean from seeking to emulate the formulae and foundation principles that Brett continues to share with those that search to live their own dream and draw on the resource of his knowledge and experience." Professor David King

Brett Baker is well established as one of the finest trombonists in Europe and has been described as being at the pinnacle of his glittering career. As principal trombone in Black Dyke Band - one of the most famous brass bands in the world - and as a guest soloist who has appeared with many other bands in Europe, America, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, together with his many solo recordings, technical accomplishments and warm personality, Brett's fame and popularity is truly world-wide. Add to this his commissioning of new works for trombone, teaching, conducting and adjudicating skills (he is a clinician for Michael Rath Trombones) and his reputation as an exceptional all-round musician is assured.

Polished Brass Quintet (Canada)

Ottawa's Polished Brass Quintet was founded in 1995 by a very fine gentleman named Bob Antosik. Bob's three-decade working career was in the RCMP, then CMHC. He played the tuba as a hobby for many years; then, after "retirement", he pulled together a group of brass-playing friends, including the late Sid Holmes, a trumpet legend in Ottawa, scrounged some quintet music, and the Polished Brass was born. Over the years, individual members have come and gone, but Bob remained throughout, encouraging new players, keeping the rehearsals going and the music flowing. Bob's dedication was proven beyond a doubt when, the day after a long afternoon concert at the Mackenzie-King estate, it was determined that he had done the whole event with a broken hip!

Bob Antosik died on 20 September 2009 at the age of 76. He had played a concert with the band just four days earlier. As the tuba player, he was necessarily the musical "anchor" of the Polished Brass Quintet, but that title fit in many other ways as well. The other members miss him.

With a library of over 500 numbers, they can tailor a programme for just about any event or musical taste. Indeed, they've played in parades and flotillas, for receptions and weddings, Church services and cultural events. They have played on Parliament Hill for a couple of thousand people, but they also entertained in hospitals for a couple of dozen.

Listen to 'Ain't Misbehavin'

02 April 2010

The Venezuelan Brass Ensemble

The Venezuelan Brass Ensemble has set itself the task of giving fresh impetus to brass-instrument education in Venezuela. Since its foundation under the patronage of José Antonio Abreu, father of the Venezuelan orchestral movement, the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble has raised its professionalism to a high level with the exemplary support of internationally recognized musicians. Thanks to the academic guardianship assumed by the Berlin Philharmonic, and the financial support given by the Inter-American Development Bank, high-calibre teachers have been signed up for master classes in Venezuela.

The Brass Factory

Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works

Oberloh has the capability to fabricate instrument parts that are no longer carried by the manufacturer. If you have an instrument that other shops say cannot be repaired or rebuilt, bring the horn to them before you give up hope!
The image above shows the King BBb helicon shortly after its completion. Manufactured by the H.N. White Co. in 1905 for the United States Military. Fully restored by Daniel C. Oberloh in satin silver plate. The valves were also completely rebuilt during the process. It is the oldest one of its type that Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works has ever restored.
More pictures HERE!

10 January 2010

Eclipse Trumpets

Eclipse trumpets are hand built to the highest standards, using the finest quality component parts and materials. The Eclipse features a uniquely designed main tuning slide not seen in other trumpets. By moving the tuning slide away from its traditional location as part of the leadpipe, we believe we have found a solution to the disturbance of airflow between mouthpiece and valve section. Much attention and development has gone into this key part of our design.
Eclipse Trumpets are offered either as a fixed leadpipe instrument or as an interchangeable leadpipe instrument, with both options featuring an uninterrupted airflow from mouthpiece to valve section due to our unique tuning mechanism. You will find that a lot more of your energy passes through the instrument rather than into it, creating a pure blow with greater projection - without the extra effort. MORE...