Friday, October 22, 2010

Sat., noon - 5pm: Red Bull's Street Kings Brass Band Blowout

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Red Bull Brass Band Competition
  • Red Bull Brass Band Competition

Four New Orleans brass bands - The Free Agents, The Stooges, To Be Continued, and The Soul Rebels - will compete in a battle of the bands Saturday October 23 from 12noon - 5pm under the Claiborne Bridge in Treme for the title of ‘Street Kings of New Orleans’. The event, sponsored by Red Bull Studio, is the first competition hosted by the California-based recording company and will be hosted by trombonist extraordinaire and ‘Crowned Prince of Tremé’ Glen David Andrews.

Your girl Big Red caught up with three of the four band leaders to discuss their band’s goal of winning the competition. (The Soul Rebels haven’t responded at press time - we’ll update you if/when we hear from them.)


Free Agents Brass Band- Ellis ‘EJo’ Joseph (bass drum):

Q: How would your band benefit from the grand prize, an all-expense paid trip to Santa Monica, CA for a three-day recording and mentorship session with a veteran producer?

They told us we get to pick the person we want to work with. We would definitely pick mainstream artist help us, someone like Stevie Wonder or Kanye West. We listen to all forms of music, we all have different influences. We just incorporate music into everything rock, hip hop, rap, old school jazz, new school jazz. We have two cd’s recorded already and (all the band members) have recorded with other bands before. The band is six years old our chemistry is like no other.

Q: How is your band’s potential to win different than the other brass band’s competing against you?

A: Music on the street has depreciated. Our music and the quality of it, we’re trying to bring it back to real music. Our emphasis is on funky horns - that’s what the instruments are there for. We play music that’s soulful, horns are playing, not all that singing. We play stuff people can really groove to, not just pop tunes you hear on BET and Q93.


Stooges Brass Band - Walter ‘Whoadie’ Ramsey (Sousaphone):

Q: How would your band benefit from the grand prize, an all-expense paid trip to Santa Monica, CA for a three-day recording and mentorship session with a veteran producer?

A: We would use the opportunity to record with a national producer to learn what he or she does, what their perception is on how to make a major hit. And to have the kids in New Orleans to see how good music is, that you can make a living from it and how far it could take you. Our first producer pick to work with would be Kanye West. Next would be Will.I.Am.

Q: How is your band’s potential to win different than the other brass band’s competing against you?

We are the king of the streets already. We play the most second lines, book the most gigs, are the most popular with the people in New Orleans.


TBC - Edward ‘Juicy’ Jackson (trombone):

Q: How would your band benefit from the grand prize, an all-expense paid trip to Santa Monica, CA for a three-day recording and mentorship session with a veteran producer?

A: The recording session was the main perk that made us want to participate in the competition. The main producer we’d like to work with is Andre 3000. That would be a big up for us. He’s symphony-trained with a lot of credentials. We try to mimic his work ethic and quality of work and that’s the type of producer we’d like to work with.

Q: How is your band’s potential to win different than the other brass band's competing against you?

A: Anybody from New Orleans knows we’re from Carver (high school) and Carver’s band was known for harmony and great sound. By us coming from that type of background, we know we’re gonna be the best sounding band. The way we play, by us being young and enthusiastic and our swagger - we do exactly what a brass band is supposed to do. We have the old traditions down pat, better than these other bands.


Click here for event schedule and list of judges.

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