Photos and Text By Vito Ingerto
Brass Bands are a celebration of community and a fixture in the culture of New Orleans. They have their roots in Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, as well as groups of neighborhood musicians, getting together to send off the deceased with exuberant second lines that let loved ones rejoice in lives lost.
I moved to Minneapolis from New Orleans 5 years ago. One of the things I miss the most is the lack of street musicians. In New Orleans, there is a proliferation of brass bands. On any given night, one is able to walk around the French Quarter, the humid air heavy with the festive sounds of horns and drums.
I’ve been able to get my fix with the McNasty Brass Band. A good brass band draws from the past and the present, pulling on elements of jazz, blues, R&B, and funk. McNastsy nails them all. Powered by the infectious rhythm of the sousaphone, snare and bass drums, this band is full of energy.
At their CD release party at the Triple Rock on Friday night, the dance floor was writhing like a bushel of crawfish in the Louisiana sun. I was back on the corner of Bourbon and Canal. These’s guys are the real deal, and I think the sold out crowd would agree. The community was in celebration.