Feel Like Funkin’ It Up: The Glory of the Rebirth Brass Band.


Rebirth Brass Band, at the Maple Leaf (Image via http://www.rebirthbrassband.com)

The Rebirth Brass Band is a NOLA institution. They combine jazz, R&B, rap and funk into their own distinctive sound. I have seen Rebirth Brass Band 80 times. Rebirth took home a Grammy in 2012 for Best Regional Roots Music Album.

Rebirth are known for their sweaty Tuesday night gigs at the Maple Leaf Bar. They travel all over the world, spreading that NOLA sound.  They come back, every week, to play in the legendary music venue/dive the Maple Leaf. Rebirth have played their Leaf gig for over 25 years. Catching a Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf is like seeing a team win with home field advantage. They play with intensity, fire and passion. The shows are always packed to the maximum, everyone dancing and getting down for over two hours.

Every show Rebirth Brass Band plays is different, you never know what tunes they are going to bust out. They will often start their set with a gospel number, to get things warmed up. The classic songs will be played, but you will also get the epic jams.

Rebirth is fueled by Crown and Coke and keep the partying crowd fired up. The crowd is a diverse mix of funky locals and college kids. Everyone is united by the Rebirth Brass Band’s joyous sound. The looser the band (and crowd) gets, the funkier they play. Rebirth rarely uses a set list and leader Tuba Phil just calls out songs as they go. They have never played the same set twice. They will roll songs into each other for 30 minute jams.

Rebirth represents NOLA by throwing down hard at every show. They bring the party to the people. Even after all of these years, Rebirth still feel like funkin’ it up every week.

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