On the heels of their Galactic show, Roots and Wires presents another New Orleans band to Taos music fans. This time the New Breed Brass Band aims to bring down the house with their original music that draws from their city’s second line tradition and weaves in elements of jazz, funk and hip hop.
“There’s a brass band renaissance going on in New Orleans right now,” said Roots and Wires’ John Henderson. “Brass bands are almost everywhere these days. It’s a real foundation of the culture. It’s great to see the next generation doing their own thing, adding to it, but also keeping it alive.”
The show is a free Seco Live show and takes place today (Aug. 11) from 7-10 p.m. at Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.
Jenard Andrews, the son of musician James Andrews and the nephew of Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, plays the snare drums for the New Breed Brass Band. For their Taos show, he is joined by Caleb Windsay on trombone and vocals, Desmond Provost on sousaphone, Douane Waples on saxophone and vocals, Aurelien Barnes on trumpet and vocals and Terrence Andrews on bass drum.
Non-touring members of the band are: Greg Warner on trumpet and vocals, John Perkins on trumpet and vocals and Marc Francis on trombone and vocals.
New Breed Brass Band was named “Best Emerging Artist” in January of this year at the Best of the Beat Awards, honoring Louisiana musicians. The band has opened for The Fray, Red Baraat, Dr. John, The Waterboys and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.
Jenard Andrews recalled that as a young child he was surrounded by musicians. He remembers going to his grandmother’s house where he says, “I would sneak around and play on the instruments whenever they weren’t looking.” From there, the young musician attended a creative arts school (the same one attended by Trombone Shorty) and tried to sign up to learn drums. His teacher, who knew he came from a family of horn players, insisted he pick up the trombone instead, which he did. However, Jenard Andrews did eventually learn to play the drums.
“The rhythms that I play mainly come from African rhythms. They were played in Congo Square,” says Jenard Andrews. “They all come from African rhythms that they were playing on djembe and we put a New Orleans twist on it to jazz it up and funk it up.”
Found in the Louis Armstrong Park in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, Congo Square is famous as a historical place for African-Americans to gather and play music, dating back to the 1700s. Jenard Andrews grew up in the Tremé neighborhood.
“Trombone Shorty,” Jenard Andrews’ uncle, helped to influence the development of the New Breed Brass Band when he sat the band members down and told them they needed to come up with original music. The band members listened, and a preview of their debut recording, due out next year, indicates that the CD is full of vibrant original songs showcasing the musical vitality and rhythmic prowess of the band. The CD was produced by Trombone Shorty, who is, “not even thirty, and already a legend,” according to John Henderson.
Jenard Andrews said the process of making the CD was “a great learning experience.”
“We actually started working on the CD in January 2012 and we finished it maybe two months ago,” said Jenard Andrews. “The way we did it, because we were a new band, and we didn’t have any music already, every time we went into the studio we made up a new song … We would sit at the piano and come up with different songs on the spot. It was an amazing process …. we didn’t know we had some of that in us.”
While you’ll have to wait to hear New Breed Brass Band’s new CD, you don’t have to wait to hear their music. Come on out tonight for some fresh, exciting New Orleans rhythm and horns, and participate in the brass band revival.
For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-1900 or visit newbreedbrass.com.