Hurricane Katrina survivors bring hot brass sounds to Barton's Ropery Hall
A band that survived the devastating 2005 Hurricane Katrina and lost members through handgun violence on the city streets will recapture the beauty of brass and mix it with R&B when it performs at Barton's Ropery Hall.
The Hot 8 Brass Band found a new legion of fans who caught onto the band's mix of traditional marching music, hip hop, and R&B.
Now their distinctive sound can be heard at Barton-Upon-Humber's Ropery Hall tomorrow night (Saturday, March 2), as part of an eight date UK tour.
Bennie Pete, who is one of the founder members of the group said: "We bring the best brass, representing New Orleans. I've been in the band from the very beginning and we've been touring with 12 members. We are coming to North Lincolnshire for the first time but a lot of people enjoy our music there.
"When we first started out we were pretty much a house band but now we've performed at festivals like Glastonbury which was a blast – one of the highlights of our career."
Bennie said it was easy to get youngsters involved in playing instruments.
He said: "Kids are always interested in everything that takes them out of the classroom. We always do lots of things to encourage kids to play in brass bands."
Founded by Bennie Pete, Jerome Jones, and Harry Cook in 1995, the band has played in traditional Second Line parades hosted each Sunday by a Social Aid and Pleasure Club ever since. But even more than their boundless energy, what makes the Hot 8 special are the sounds they coax from their well-loved, well-worn horns.
The members of the Hot 8 were all born and raised in New Orleans; many of them began playing together in high school. In 1995 they came together and began playing traditional New Orleans brass band music professionally.
But the band, like all of New Orleans, has had its share of tragedy in the aftermath of Katrina. In addition to displacement caused by the storm and subsequent violence and uncertainty three members of the band lost their lives through handgun violence on the city streets.
Bennie said: "It was bad. A lot of families lost relatives and were scared. We used our experiences to help us write new material."
In response to these tragic setbacks, The Hot 8 Brass Band recommitted itself to bringing people together through their unique brand of music to celebrate, to heal and to learn.
Bennie added: "We are bringing out an album in May. We are trying to keep it real. On this tour fans will see a 90 minute up-tempo and soulful night where the sounds of New Orleans comes to town, performing covers of the likes of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye."
The Ropewalk's Liz Bennet said she was delighted that the band would be playing at the Maltkiln Road venue.
"No outfit has done more than the Hot 8 to recast the long tradition of New Orleans marching music for modern times," she said. "The Hot 8 are famous for playing all day in the sun, then hopping to a club gig and playing through the night."
"The band that blends hip-hop, jazz and funk styles with a traditional New Orleans brass sounds and I'm sure they will inject more than a little sunshine into our lives."
The band performance, which is a standing only gig, starts at 8pm and tickets, which cost £12.50 in advance or £14 on the door, can be booked online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at the Craft Gallery or by telephoning 01652 660380.