The Brass Monkeys

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

The Brass Monkeys perform an array of original material and unusual classics,  ranging from multi-layered compositions and arrangements to earthy grooves and swinging tunes that wander through the mysterious and reflective and on to the joyous. Essential to this music is the 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 this spontaneity. 


"… [an] eclectic jewel box of an album … something of a treasure trove of music for the listener – whether that be one who is intrigued by improvised music or seeks comfort and tradition…."

Sammy Stein – Freejazzblog

Book tickets for The Brass Monkeys

This brass octet, The Brass Monkeys, is a long-held dream of leader Ben Higham, finally realised with this spectacular line-up of some of the finest players and improvisers in the UK established in 2018. To date the band has done two UK tours and just produced our second album, Lullabite, to critical acclaim - ‘Lullabite is an album that conveys a musical conversation spanning generations, styles, and emotions. It’s a continuation of the enduring spirit of jazz and its capacity for continuous reinvention. [It is] a reflection of the timeless allure of jazz, and a beacon of its ever-evolving nature.’ – Ferrell Aubre – the 22/11/23

Influenced by jazz, blues, reggae, country, free improvisation, soul, folk …… the band performs its unique take on tunes by the likes of Charlie Parker, Taj Mahal, Lillian Hardin Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Lester Bowie and Jean Ritchie alongside original material inspired by the history of improvised music. 'Really enjoyable show from @8brassmonkeys …. I loved the contrast between ensemble polyphony and the sparse drums and tuba backing for featured soloist/duet/trio on material encompassing originals, Monk, Frisell, Nichols, folk, klezmer and more.' John Sharpe @JazzSnipe 25/07/21

Band members have worked with (to name but a few) Joan Armatrading, Lianne Carroll, Elvis Costello, Joe Gallivan, Joe Jackson, Chris MacGregor, Louis Moholo Moholo, Laura Mvula, Maggie Nicols, Courtney Pine, Dudu Pukwana, The People Band, John Russell, Paul Rutherford, John Stevens, The Style Council, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt…

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)