Po’Boys Brass Band
Founded by a bunch of trombone players that were fed up with sitting in the back of orchestras and jazz bands, the Po’Boys Brass Band is a 7-piece power house of brass, funk and ROCK. The four-trombone front line produces a sonic explosion of sound that breaks all preconceived notions of what trombone capabilities. Supporting the trombone powerhouse is a chops-to-spare backline of guitar, drums, and sousaphone. That’s right, a funky old sousaphone. The band plays original charts as well as some tasty covers, conjuring up anything from Stevie Wonder and Tower of Power to Led Zeppelin and Edgar Winter. The band has close ties to the great city of New Orleans guides the group spiritually, owing a lot of their sound concepts to the Rebirth Brass Band, Bonerama, the Dirty Dozen, Professor Longhair, The Meters, Dr. John, and many more. The band’s current lineup of musicians consists of an all-star cast of characters that are all either alumni or current students at the Eastman School of Music, including a radio announcer, country singer, doctoral candidate, and even a dean.
Their different backgrounds are what make the Po’Boys such a unique listening experience. Rochester’s City Magazine said: “It’s like Dumbo on an acid trip. If Hendrix had played the trombone, it might’ve sounded like this.” Whether tearing into some vintage N’Awlins funk or shredding through an original rock-anthem, the ‘Boys never leave anyone disappointed, making one critic quip “…the Boys’ meaty four-trombone wall of sound and freight-train groove melted my cynicism away.”
The PBBB has enjoyed good times and success in its short history, winning the Upstate NY Songwriting Contest in summer 2008 leading to a record deal and debut album, Bone Break. The ‘boys also “have quickly made a name for themselves as a versatile performing act,” opening for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Rochester’s Party in the Park concert series in spring 08, as well as being invited to play at virtually every major festival in Rochester, NY.
In June 2009, PBBB played 2009 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festiva to a crowd of 45,000. Thousands of fans of the funk crammed into the tiny street block to hear the PBBB’s own rendition of New Orleans funk, original rock, and traditional street band tunes, creating a literal traffic jam at the center of the festival.
The PBBB is currently touring the northeast spreading the word: New York finally has its own Brass-Funk-Rock band. Trombone? In the back of the band? Not anymore.
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