MeetFactory, o. p. s.
Ke Sklárně 3213/15
150 00 Praha 5
13:00 do 20:00 + based on evening program
Hot 8 Brass Band are a Grammy-nominated New Orleans based brass band, whose sound draws on the traditional jazz heritage of New Orleans, alongside more modern styles including elements of funk, hip hop, rap, and its local variation, “bounce.”
Transcending genres and trends, Hot 8 have performed and collaborated with artists from Lauryn Hill, Alice Russell, Mos Def to the Blind Boys of Alabama and George Ezra and have decade long affiliations with actor/BBC 6Music DJ Craig Charles, among others. They were nominated for a Grammy in 2013 for their second album ‘The Life and Times Of…’. and, with acclaimed releases such as ‘Vicennial...’, ‘On The Spot’ and “Take Cover”, continue to exemplify their ability to honour their city’s musical traditions while forging their own powerful legacy. Hot 8’s incredible tale, which comes across in their life-affirming music, has also previously featured in Spike Lee’s two New Orleans documentaries, When The Levees Broke and The Creek Don’t Rise, and David Simon’s HBO series Treme (in which the band played themselves), to add to extensive features across the world’s media.
Mixing an old school street brass approach with funkier currents and hip hop vocals, Hot 8’s magnificent originals are juxtaposed with fresh versions of Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, The Specials, Basement Jaxx and of course their anthemic take on Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”.
Hot 8 Brass Band’s rhythms are loose-limbed and hard-hitting, with most tracks featuring a sousaphone prominently. The legendary group have established themselves as a dominant force on New Orleans streets—the band you want to dance behind during a Sunday second-line parade or witness jazz funeral.
Brass band-related activities have been a vital part of New Orleans’ African American community life for over a century, serving as an important source of celebration, bonding, strength, pride, and both individual and collective expression. Jazz funerals are among the most curious and well-known New Orleans brass band customs. As an exercise of the belief in “rejoicing at death,” the jazz funeral juxtaposes grief and joy. Slow, sad hymns and dirges are played en route to the cemetery, followed by up-tempo songs and joyous second line dancing in a final procession away from the grave.
The city’s traditional obsession with music, parades, dancing, and the rise of black benevolent organizations, has helped to maintain and support brass band activities and culture. Dozens of benevolent societies and groups known as “social aid & pleasure clubs” sponsor weekly Sunday parades. Very different from New Orleans’ better known Eurocentric Mardi Gras parades, the black social club events consist of three main parts: divisions of colorfully dressed social club members, one or more brass bands and the second line—a crowd of up to several thousand people who follow and dance alongside the parade throughout its several-hour duration. The free-form second line dance performed by club members and the crowd, both of whom dance with umbrellas and handkerchiefs, is derived from West African processions. The intensity that builds from the constant creative interaction between hot music and improvised dancing often erupts into a euphoric dimension in which a sense of total freedom, equality, limitless power, and a spiritual redefining of earthly reality seem to overtake all of the participants. Many legendary and influential musicians who would migrate from New Orleans by the 1920s and influence the direction of American music—among them King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet—got some of their early training and experience in street parades and funerals.
The story of the Hot 8 Brass Band has been one of tragedy and triumph. Over the years the Hot 8’s ranks have been decimated by the deaths of four original members due to street violence and illness. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a life-altering turning point; during which 80% of New Orleans flooded, untold numbers of inhabitants died, and long-term displacement and misery affected hundreds of thousands—raised real concerns about the survival of the city and its indigenous cultural traditions. After being evacuated, displaced, and scattered across the country, the band regrouped and began touring the United States to encourage and support other displaced Katrina victims and promote New Orleans’ recovery.
Hot 8 Brass Band are signed to Tru Thoughts, based in Brighton, UK.