THE SOUND of New Orleans, the sound of hip hop, the sound of Black America, the sound of great music - all these are embodied in The Hot 8 Brass Band.
The Hot 8 Brass Band were formed by Bennie Pete, Jerome Jones, and Harry Cook in 1995 in New Orleans and played in Sunday afternoon parades hosted by social and charitable clubs, traditional jazz funerals, and in jazz nightclubs.
However the band came to international attention when they appeared in Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, which detailed the destruction wrought on New Orelans by Hurricane Katrina.
The following year, the band’s inspired cover of Marvyn Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ began being played by DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Rob Da Bank, and Coldcut, leading to demands from the public for copies of it to be made more widely available.
In both cases, the Hot 8’s mix of New Orleans brass band, hip-hop, jazz, funk, and r’n’b caught the imagination of music fans and the 10 member group have become regulars at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Zulu Parade, San Antonio Zulu Association Festival, the City of New Orleans New Year’s Celebration, and they also tour in Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Finland, Ireland, and Britain.
The band also embody hip hop culture and energy as they are involved in New Orleans second-line parades. These are music battles or face offs with local jazz bands on the streets. Brass bands fight it out for the largest crowd listening to their music, the one with the most feet at the end wins.
The Hot 8 Brass Band play Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh tonight at 9pm. Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, from the Ticket Desk at OMG, Shop Street (formerly Zhivago ), and The Róisín Dubh.