Good news. A loyal following of Rebirth Brass Band fans in the Northwest is ensuring that the New Orleans band plays the Wet Coast more than once a year.
Last year, they came to Seattle and Portland twice and the venerable brass band returns to the Tractor Tavern in Seattle this Friday, January 22, and Dante’s in Portland on Saturday, January 23.
As with the last engagement, the Tractor will host two evening shows at $25 a pop or $40 for the whole night. Spring for both, its worth it. Unless you’d rather catch them at their home base in New Orleans at the Maple Leaf and pay only $20 for the evening.
Founded by the Frazier brothers – Phillip on sousaphone and Keith on bass drum–Rebirth Brass Band has been blending jazz, funk, soul, and hip hop with the brass band New Orleans tradition for over 30 years. While the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is largely credited for bringing the New Orleans brass bands into contemporary times, Rebirth has been doing it almost as long and in a far more entertaining manner (my blog, my opinion).
With the co-founders now past 50, the band just recently ceased doing parades. But that long history of Second Lines have built a repertoire of street anthems like Feel Like Funkin’ It Up, Do Watcha Wanna, and Let’s Go Get ’em.
The band’s line up has evolved over the years. Co-founder Kermit Ruffins split off to do his own thing over 20 years ago. So have Glen David Andrews, Shamarr Allen, and Corey Henry, to name a few.
The current line-up includes the hard-to-miss Derrick Tabb, an amazing snare drummer who towers over the group and is active with Roots of Music, a group he co-founded to provide after-school programs for kids at-risk. You might recognize trombonist Stafford Agee from the television show, Treme, since he and others of the band had cameo roles. But if you’ve listened to the show, you’ve definitely heard him play since its Agee’s trombone really playing when you see actor Wendell Pierce (Antoine Batiste) put lips to mouthpiece. Also on trombone is Gregory Veals. Vincent Broussard is on saxophone and Glen Hall and Chadrick Honore’ are on trumpets.
The band has 17 recordings in its library including a 25th anniversary release and a 2012 grammy winner, Rebirth of New Orleans. The band’s most recent release was 2014’s Move Your Body. You can count on the band to get you moving and smiling.
Upcoming Northwest Performances of New Orleans Artists
- Rebirth Brass Band – at Tractor Tavern in Seattle, January 22 and Dantes in Portland, January 23.
- Nigel Hall – at the Showbox in Seattle, February 4 and the Roseland in Portland, February 5.
- Jon Cleary – at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, February 8.
- Galactic – at the Showbox in Seattle, February 26 and Crystal Ballroom in Portland, February 27.
- The Revivalists – at Neumos in Seattle, March 9 and Aladdin Theater in Portland, March 10.
- Trombone Shorty – at the Moore Theater in Seattle, April 14 and Keller Auditorium, Portland, April 15.
- Walter Wolfman Washington – opening for Bettye LaVette at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, May 12 – 15.