Preview: Hot 8 Brass Band @ Rich Mix (London, 1st June 2016)

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Blending hip-hop, jazz and funk styles with the iconic sounds of New Orleans brass, bring your big brash boogie boots to Rich Mix next week, the Hot 8 Brass Band are in town.

Formed by Bennie Pete, Jerome Jones, and Harry Cook in 1995, The Hot 8 not only merged two earlier bands – the Looney Tunes Brass Band and the High Steppers Brass Band – but have merged swaggering jazz and second line strut with a straight up hip-hop attitude. With a stream of inventive songs and ideas being introduced by various band members over the years, The Hot 8’s funk style is a blend of influences from the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth, with more elements of contemporary r&b, rap, and its local variation, “bounce”.

Yet, tragically, The Hot 8’s story is not only one of originality. Over the years the band’s ranks have been decimated by the deaths of four original members due to street violence and illness. On top of these heartbreaks, Hurricane Katrina was a life-altering turning point – Katrina’s wrath causing the bands evacuation, displacement, and scattering across the US.

Yet, out of the ashes, new life was born. Long-term displacement across the country helped members of the band realise just how unique and special New Orleans culture is, inspiring their desire to learn more about the history, sound, and style of earlier brass bands. The band regrouped and began touring the United States to encourage and support other displaced Katrina victims and promote New Orleans’ recovery.

Now one of the most popular and visible funk-style brass bands, The Hot 8 typify the uniting abilities of music and embody the raw essence of New Orleans. Famous for playing all day in the sun, then hopping to a club gig and playing through the night, what is even more special than the band’s enduring spirit and boundless energy are the sounds they coax from their well-loved, well-worn horns. As Hot 8 band leader Bennie Pete puts it, “Hot 8 music is feel good music…music with a message. It’s life music!”.

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  1. Joe

    I would love to be in London for this show!
    I’ve seen The Hot 8 Brass Band in Brooklyn. They know how to make a fun party!
    I think the best place to hear them live would be New Orleans or England. It’s really cool to see them get such a warm reception in the UK.


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