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Rebirth Brass Band CL Recommends

When: Wed., Dec. 26 2012
REBIRTH BRASS BAND Only a precious few of the Crescent City’s signature brass bands have gone from French Quarter busking to playing international stages. Charlotte hosted the Dirty Dozen Brass Band in June, and now comes that group’s rougher-around-the-edges peer and friendly rival the Rebirth Brass Band, which nabbed a 2012 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Album. Like the Dirty Dozen, the Rebirth Krewe honed its booming mix of marches, rags and fatback funk on the streets of Tremé. From the get-go back in 1983, the Rebirth Brass Band shunned standard parade-band arrangements, embracing ragged jazz and even some scatological rap. Still, the band keeps touch with its roots with churning updates of Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner classics like “Caledonia” and “Flip, Flop & Fly.” With each player threatening to fly off the rails, the cohesive whole is anchored by founder Philip Frazier’s subwoofer sousaphone. Thirty years on, Rebirth still keeps to the streets. “We don’t want to be stars,” snare drummer Derrick Tabb has said. “Once you become a star, you can’t go hang in the hood.”
— Pat Moran

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