First Annual Global Brass Festival Comes to the McKittrick
Hot Jazz Productions and The McKittrick Hotel join forces with the World Music Institute to present the first annual New York Brass Festival, a ten-hour marathon celebration of brass band music. The Festival is scheduled for Sunday, June 10 from 2:00 pm to midnight on two stages at Chelsea's McKittrick Hotel (530 West 27 Street,) home of the immersive theater spectacle Sleep No More.
This first-ever New York brass festival celebrates and furthers the excellence of brass band music in every genre by gathering an all-star collective of the city's most dynamic brass ensembles across NYC's transglobal musical mosaic. The Festival aims to both establish an annual day of celebration for NYC's brass band community and to highlight brass music as a universal language and a catalyst of unity.
Though not generally credited as a nexus of the style, New York City acts as a home to a greater diversity of brass bands than any other place in the United States, hosting a spectrum of ensembles ranging from the trombone shout choirs of the United House Of Prayer to Balkan brass bands, from Mexican and Peruvian bandas to classical music brass ensembles, from both traditional and free jazz brass bands to Indian Baraat wedding music formations, from New Orleans style funk combos to military brass corps, from hip-hop outfits to circus punk ensembles, as well as various fusions of all of the above.
The top ambassadors representing the fusion of transglobal brass sound in NYC - the explosive Slavic Soul Party - are naturally among the inaugural New York Brass Festival headliners. This Balkan-Romany-Funk-Jazz super-band will be playing an eclectic program, including selections from their latest album, a Balkan influenced take on Duke Ellington's Far East Suite. SSP's fresh take on Duke Ellington will not be the sole reinvention of a classic at the Fest; Gato Loco goes even further back with their genre-defying "Enchanted Messa," a wild rethinking of Verdi's Requiem flavored with touches of the band's self-described 'psycho-mambo' sound.
The Klezmer Brass All-Stars, led by esteemed Grammy-winning trumpeter Frank London, are another NYC brass institution renowned for their Eastern European influences in the festival, though their sound leans much closer to tradition, as they rediscover original styles of their Jewish musical forebears form the beginnings of Klezmer. Further world influences can be heard in the unique sonic voice of The Hungry March Band, as they take the stage to present "Running Through With Sadness," the band's first new album in over a decade. Sadness is the opposite of what the redoubtable HMB evoke in their raucous performances; this "premier ambulatory guerrilla ensemble" remains a volcanic force of nature. They easily fit the tag "It's More Than Music, It's An Experience!" of another explosive band in the Fest, the hip-hop influenced Drumadics Beat-N-Brass Band, led by powerhouse bucket drummer William B Johnson. The Drumadics represent the proud tradition of brass bands rising to prominence from Gotham's literal underground, the New York Subway.
Brass Fest's most spiritually uplifting set will feature a rare public performance by The Harlem Heavenly Notes, the young lions of the trombone shout choir tradition of The United House Of Prayer. The band's live performance is a singularly joyous and euphoric experience. NY Brass Fest is proud to join The Heavenly Notes in dedicating the performance to the legacy of one of New York brass world legends, Elder Edward Babbs, the longtime leader of the UHOP's storied McCollough Sons Of Thunder.
The Fest will also feature a Big Apple-style salute to the Big Easy's tricentennial. An almost self-contained mini-fest within the Festival will commence at The McKittrick's rooftop garden paradise, Gallow Green with a New Orleans Hot Brass Brunch (with artists TBA) followed by a participatory NOLA On The Hudson Second Line, with rising star trombonist band leader Mariel Bildsten leading the party on the short march from the Hudson River Park to the doors of The McKittrick. Back at the McKittrick, the Big Easy celebration will continue with veteran hot jazz tubist David Ostwald and His Louis Armstrong Eternity Band paying tribute to the New Orleans roots of Satchmo, a global musical ambassador of peace and the greatest American brass player of all time. Sugartone Brass Band, the top New Orleans brass ensemble based in New York, will round out our celebration with more contemporary New Orleans grooves. The evening will conclude with a Trans-Global All-Star Fanfare Jam led by Slavic Soul Party's brilliant leader, Matt Moran.
"Regardless of the genre, brass music is a music of joy that bridges cultures and brings people together," says the festival director, Michael Katsobashvili, founder of the New York Hot Jazz Festival and Pangea Jazz Fest. "New York should have had a festival like this for decades already. This June we're going to make it happen and have a time of our lives doing it. Opa!"
For complete festival details, ticket sales, venue information and lineup changes, visit the The McKittrick Hotel event page and the official NY Brass Festival page.
For more information about the NY Global Brass Festival; for press tickets, photos and additional media; or to arrange interviews with artists or Festival organizers, please contact John Seroff at John@GreenHousePublicity.com which have headlined top performance arts centers and festivals all around the world. He is also active as teacher and curator in the Balkan folk music scene. Moran has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as Mat Maneri, Lionel Hampton, Combustible Edison, Ellery Eskelin, and Saban Bajramovic and is currently active in performing and recording with John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet, the Mat Maneri Quintet, and Theo Bleckmann among many others.
Hot Jazz Productions is a festival presenting organization with New York Hot Jazz Festival, Pangea Jazz Fest, and, as of 2018, New York Brass Festival under its umbrella. Originally created solely for presentation of a day-long celebration for New York traditional jazz community, HJP has expanded its mission to year-round presentations of and advocacy for traditional jazz, world jazz, and global brass band music through various collaborations and partnerships, including curation and co-presentation of special programs at Central Park SummerStage, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, and Fisher Center at Bard, as well as curation and hosting of an annual stage at NYC Winter Jazzfest.
The McKittrick Hotel (@TheMcKittrick) is home of the immersive theater spectacle Sleep No More, year-round rooftop bar Gallow Green, jazz age-inspired speakeasy Manderley Bar, restaurant and performance venue The Heath and newly unlocked room The Attic. The McKittrick is also renowned for elaborate costume parties and one-of-a-kind events, including The McKittrick Masquerades, and regularly hosts intimate live concerts and music festivals.
Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, World Music Institute (WMI) has served as one of the leading presenters of world music and dance within the United States. WMI is committed to presenting the best in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world with the goal of inspiring wonder for the world's rich cultural traditions, promoting awareness and encouraging cross-cultural dialogue and exchange. WMI presents at venues throughout the city and has presented more than 1,500 concerts and events featuring artists from more than 100 countries across all continents. For more information, please visit WMI on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.