The first annual New York Brass and Heritage Festival kicked up last night, with New Orleans-based Rebirth Brass Band taking the stage of Manhattan’s Blue Note jazz club for a four-night residency. That gig culminates in a midnight after-party (with, I presume, special guests) on Jan. 10. The Rebirth band earned a Grammy Award in 2012. But they’ve long been heroes in the clubs and streets of their hometown.
If Rebirth revolutionized New Orleans brass-band tradition, incorporating funk and pop elements and attitude, they were turning the next page, following the innovations of their fellow New Orleans trailblazers Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who are also featured in the Brass and Heritage Festival (at the Highline Ballroom, Jan. 10, with Red Baraat, a Brooklyn-based group who blend second-line beats and sounds with North Indian bhangra rhythms, go-go music, hip-hop and beyond).
This five-night affair is subtitled “New Orleans in New York.” It extends, stylistically, well beyond brass-band music and, geographically, outside New Orleans borders. Continue reading “Celebrating (and Protecting) Brass & Heritage”