Strike up the band! That’s Canadian Brass, one of the most popular brass ensembles performing today. The group has spent more than four decades bringing the sound and excitement of brass music to audiences around the world with the hallmarks of entertainment, virtuosity, spontaneity and, most of all, fun.
Canadian Brass began in 1970, when friends Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts came together to form a brass quintet in a chamber music setting. They quickly filled the three remaining chairs and began presenting a full range of music form their trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes to new compositions and arrangements created especially for them. Masters of concert presentations, they have developed a unique and engaging stage presence and rapport with audiences that allows them to move from formal classical presentations to music served up with a lively dialogue and theatrical effects. Their repertoire features brass standards and original arrangements of Renaissance and Baroque masters, marches, holiday favorites, ragtime, Dixieland, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway and Christian music, as well as popular songs and standards. They have created their own musical world by transcribing, arranging and commissioning more than 600 works. In the process they have brought brass instruments to the forefront and created an ensemble that can span centuries of music in a single concert.
The musicians of Canadian Brass include founding member Chuck Daellenbach on tuba, Christopher Colletti and Caleb Hudson on trumpet, Achilles Liarmakopoulos on trombone and Jeff Nelson on horn. They have sold more than 2 million albums worldwide, and their album Stars and Stripes: Canadian Brass Salute America, spent eight weeks in the top 25 on the Billboard Classical Chart. They have performed in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, the Soviet Union and South America, and were the first brass ensemble from the West to perform in the People’s Republic of China. They have made several appearances there, including one on Hunan TV for the Chinese New Year. They were the first brass group to take the main stage at Carnegie Hall in New York and have often been asked by Canadian officials to play for visiting heads of state as musical ambassadors. They are noted for their Holiday Concerts at Christmas time.
Education is an important part of the Canadian Brass mission. As they tour the world, they often work with students, young audience and professional musicians. They recently completed a four-year residency at the University of Toronto and were Chamber Quartet-in-Residence at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. They also created an innovative brass summer course at the Eastman School of Music and have also worked with El Sistema, the acclaimed global music education program founded in Venezuela.
Canadian Brass enjoys interacting with an international audience with videos, DVDs and cutting edge technology including multimedia airplay, downloads, YouTube videos and streaming opportunities as well as digital applications with phones. They truly are universal and appeal to audiences of all ages with an exciting show that will make you tap your feet and sing along while being taken on a musical journey that spans centuries. This is not your grandmother’s chamber music, but bring her along. She’ll love the show, too.