Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reldnips and Mr. Ting

During the last class period we discussed new brass bands and the evolution of the those bands, particular in the area around Madison, Wisconsin.  It seems there is a growing market for groups combining brass band elements with influences of hip-hop, R&B, soul, pop and other modern styles.  Reldnips and Mr. Ting  is an assemblage of musicians in Iowa City, and the University of Iowa School of Music.  The group performs regularly in the area.  I would recommend checking them out, especially if you are interested by the styles of music we heard in class Monday.

Boston Based Dixieland

The Hot Tamale Brass Band is a Boston based dixieland jazz band.  The group plays traditional dixieland tunes common during the turn of the century.  Hot Tamale performs all over the Boston area in parades, clubs, Mardi Gras theme parties, and has been performing for pregame celebrations at Fenway Park as of 1999.  They can be heard on their next Mardi Gras themed engagement at the The Bayou N’ Boogie  Festival

Brass Band Resources

There are plenty of great resources avaiable to learn about new brass bands and stay up to date on what's happening in the brass band community. I wanted to share three that I've enjoyed.

Four Bars Rest is a comprehensive brass band site.  It includes articles, news, editorials, and classifieds along with a market place.  Worth checking out if you want to get your feet wet in the traditional brass band world.

If you're more interested in the New Orleans style of brass band playing I would recommend visiting a few great band websites including The Storyville Stompers and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  Both are great bands and come from the New Orleans tradition.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom is becoming one of the most famous solo trumpet artists today.  Growing up in England, she was influenced and participated in English style brass bands .  She went onto to study at the Paris Conservatory and with Hakan Hardenberger.   She is currently the principal trumpet with the London Chamber Orchestra and visiting professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  Below is one of my favorite recordings

I came across this video while researching members of the Summit Brass.  Allan Dean is professor of trumpet at Yale University and a member of the St. Louis Brass Quintet and Summit Brass.  In this clip he plays and speaks about a trumpet used during the civil war period.  I found it very interesting, hope you do to!

Rafael Mendez Brass Institute

Summer music festivals can be great places to meet other musicians who share similar interests in chamber music.  I attended the Rafael Mendez Institute a few summers ago and it was an excellent learning experience.  The University of Denver in the Lamont School of Music hosts the camp during mid July each summer.  The weeklong seminar offers master classes, brass chamber playing, lessons, and career clinics.  Dedicated to the memory of Rafael Mendez, large tuition scholarships are available in his name courtesy of family members.  The faculty consists of the members of the summit brass.  I would recommend this camp to someone who would like to try a summer music engagement without making a huge time commitment.  The camp runs for about a week and concludes with a final concert on which all the brass ensembles perform.

The Denver Brass

Comprised of 14 professional brass players, the Denver Brass have been performing together since 1981.  They perform 2 classical series per year as well as contracts around the Denver area.  They appeal to wide audiences because they perform a wide range of music including classical, jazz, broadway, latin and collaborations with other instruments in different styles.  The group often has theme concerts that even incorporate costumes.  They are a unique brass ensemble that has created a large market for their product.