Lexington, KY – Musical ambassador and interpreter of America’s music, Wycliffe Gordon experiences an impressive career touring the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz receiving great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. His unmatched modern mastery of the plunger mute and his exceptional technique and signature sound, has solidified Gordon a place in musical history known as one of the top trombonists of his generation.
Performed at 2016 GABBF
June 5th – 8th, 2014
The Great American Brass Band Festival, an internationally renowned music event, turns 25 in June 2014. To celebrate this milestone the Festival is inviting back brass groups who played a key role in the early days of the GABBF as well as continuing the Festival’s goals to feature new ensembles and to grow our educational component.
Among ‘pioneer’ groups returning this year will be Jack Daniels’ Silver Cornet Band, the Brass Band of Columbus, the Civil War-era Saxton’s Cornet Band, Dixie Power Trio, and the reincarnation of the Olympia Brass Band, the Storyville Stompers from New Orleans. Making their GABBF premiere will be Zlatne Uste, a championship Balkan-style brass band from New York City, and the River City Youth Brass Band from Pittsburgh.
At the Friday Brass Symposium one special focus will be a retrospective of the entire 25 years of the festival, headed up by a range of band personalities and scholars, including the founder of the GABBF, Dr. George Foreman. Foreman will share both amusing and informative stories from the history of the Festival, as well as preview a projected book on the GABBF.
June 4—7, 2015
Brass Greats of American Jazz headline the 26th annual Great American Brass Band Festival, June 4—7, 2015. While maintaining the widest range of brass styles and performing groups—from historical bands of the Civil War to modern, large-scale British-style brass bands—the festival will have a special focus on America jazz and some of the great brass performers who played a major role in the development of America’s most significant contribution to world music.
Among ‘Brass Greats’ to be profiled will be the brass legends like Louis Armstrong. King Oliver, Clifford Brown, and a host of others. An outstanding array of jazz musicians, both soloists and ensemble, will head the lineup: Soloists Wycliffe Gordon, Rex Richardson, Al Hood, Vince DiMartino; Jazz Groups: USAF Airmen of Note, Rhythm and Brass, DiMartino–Osland Jazz Orchestra (with Raleigh Dailey Jazz Trio), and a new ‘early American jazz’ group, The Town Branch Five Plus Two. Two fine traditional New Orleans-style jazz groups will also feature in a major way: Storyville Stompers and Lagniappe.
Traditional brass band music will also be front-and-center. We are proud to announce that the outstanding British Salvation Army brass band, The Household Troops Band, will end their 2015 American tour at the GABBF, and play a major role in the weekend. Other favorites include the Civil war era Saxton’s Cornet Band, and representing the North American Brass Band Association, the University of Oakland (MI) Brass Band.
June 2-5, 2016
This year, we celebrate the great tradition of bands in America that has flourished from decades before our Civil War right up to the present during the 27th annual Great American Brass Band Festival, June 2—5, 2016. Hundreds of thousands of volunteer musicians currently play in bands across our land. We honor them this year with an emphasis on community bands from across the region and even from Canada. Yet the GABBF always puts professional musicians front and center as well. Headlining the weekend will be the superb United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”, from Washington, DC. Renowned brass artists will also be featured along with the widest range of brass music, from New Orleans-style jazz brass band Storyville Stompers to chamber-size groups like Bulldog Brass from the University of Georgia, including world-class trumpeter Philip Smith, former principal of the New York Philharmonic, who will feature with them.
New to the GABBF this year will be the exciting Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, a group adept at many styles of music, including great jazz. Joining them will be perennial favorite Wycliffe Gordon, trombonist extraordinaire. Home grown solo talent, now following his own solo trumpet and teaching career (University of Syracuse music faculty) will be Gabriel Di Martino. British-style brass bands will be represented by the top-flight professional North Carolina Brass Band and the community-based Salvation Army band from Worthington, OH, Chapel Brass. We are pleased to offer a Civil War-era Battle of the Bands this year that will combine, from the ‘North’ The Wildcat Regiment Band, and, from the ‘South,’ Kentucky’s own Saxton’s Cornet Band. Playing a key role throughout the weekend will be trumpet and trombone choirs made up of outstanding players from the University of Kentucky.
We are very pleased that six ‘community’ wind bands will cement our theme this year. The groups include the host Advocate Brass Band (Danville, KY), Capital City Band (Frankfort, KY), Central Kentucky Concert Band (Lexington, KY), Madison Community Band (Richmond, KY), and all the way from Ontario, Canada, the Ceremonial Band of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, a group at home in both concert formation and on parade and in outdoor musical demonstrations. Returning to the GABBF are several specialist groups, like Dick Domek’s winsome Walnut Street Ragtime Ramblers, the highly entertaining Circle City Stompers, and well-known pianist Scott Kirby. Scott will add invaluably to our Theme with a new, exciting program entitled Main Street Souvenirs: A Journey Through the American Heartland, a multi-media presentation that will be offered at both annual the Brass Symposium and again on Saturday afternoon.