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First Annual Global Brass Festival

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 - 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.

One of New York's premiere Mexican bandas, La Parrandera Banda La Platera, will perform at the Festival as a powerhouse eighteen-piece ambassador for Central America. 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!"
 
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2007