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.