The Brass Monkeys

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Last Show: Wednesday 1 st September 2021

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

The Brass Monkeys are an eclectic improvising brass band influenced by jazz, blues, reggae, country, free improvisation, soul, folk. Performing an exciting mix of original material and unusual classics. The band offer a reverent but iconoclastic take on the history of musical improvisation. With a line up of two trumpets, French horn, two trombones, tenor sax, tuba and drums this group is a powerhouse of brass that reflects an exciting mix of youth and experience. We enjoy exploring the textural possibilities of this sound and performances mix solo, duo, trio and ensemble improvisations inspired by our diverse repertoire.    

‘A fun evening with @8BrassMonkeys …, moving from unruly polyphony to heartfelt chorale via Nichols, Monk, Lil Hardin, Lester Bowie, Shepp and more.’

John Sharpe @JazzSnipe

The repertoire is half original and a range of material from all kinds of sources including tunes by Herbie Nicols, Bill Frisell, Lillian Hardin-Armstrong, Archie Shepp, Jonas Gwangwa, Lester Bowie, Taj Mahal, Thelonious Monk, Dudu Pukwana……… The key element in all our music is the opportunity for interplay between the musicians which is at the organic heart of this band. This is achieved in part by a combination of improvising contexts; solos, duos, trios and full ensemble interactions stimulate the essential spontaneity.

Band Lineup

Chris Dowding (trumpets/flugels)
Charlotte Keeffe (trumpets/flugels)
Jim Rattigan (french horn)
Annie Whitehead (trombones)
Kieran McLeod (trombones)
Paul Jolly (saxes/clarinets)
Ben Higham (tuba/trumpet/flugel/leader)
Olly Blackman (drums)