Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America)
The brass septet Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America) appears at ethnic festivals, regional tours, and music conferences, presenting authentic social dance music and concert repertoire.The band is composed of Finnish American musicians and teachers from Minnesota and Michigan, and its repertoire is derived directly from original hand manuscript sources found among Finnish bands and archives.
During the 1980s, group founder Paul Niemisto made contact with many Finnish brass players and discovered this relatively unknown musical tradition; he formed the group in 1990.Ameriikan Poijat has toured in Finland several times, most recently in 2013, and traveled widely in the United States and Canada.
Brio Brass has delighted and entertained audiences throughout Minnesota’s Twin Cities Metro area since 1999.Composed of more than 50 adult musicians, the group performs its own unique arrangements written specifically for its members.The ensemble’s large repertoire features a broad spectrum of musical styles.Audiences are entertained with fluid ballads, pop of all eras, show tunes, funky rock and lots of jazz.Expect lots of humming, toe tapping and even dancing in the aisles!
Buddy Koopmans Orchestra
Roger (Buddy) Koopmans of Faribault, Minn., organized the Buddy Koopmans Orchestra in 1948 when he was still in high school.Back then, young musicians dreamed of being part of a Big Band.He brought together up to 16 instrumentalists from the region (including Northfield resident Hartley Clark, then a Carleton College student) and arranged for 4-5 gigs each year.Recently Gary Anderson, a clarinetist who started playing in the Buddy Koopmans Orchestra at age 13, bought the band from Roger.What do you get when you “buy a band.” Books of music, the classic Big Band fronts (music stands), and the right to use the name.Gary brings 16 musicians together, pulling from around the region including the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St.Paul.Fine musicians come together to perform just because they love playing this kind of music.
Copper Street Brass
Copper Street Brass (CSB) is the premier brass chamber ensemble in Minnesota and one of only a handful of self-sustaining brass groups in the country. The ensemble was founded in 2008 as a professionally trained classical chamber music ensemble (which means they perform without a conductor) with two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba. CSB presents exclusively its own music, which is an original blend of musical styles from Mozart to Madonna, in over 35 concerts and 80 outreach services each season.
The six core musicians of CSB, Allison Hall, Josh Cameron, Tim Bradley, Alex Wolff, Nick Adragna, and Reid Kennedy have a combined 11 professional music and education degrees and thousands of performances under their belts. These artists have performed with world-renowned classical ensembles like the Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO, MN Opera and Malaysian Philharmonic, and also have the versatility to perform with jazz/blues groups such as Davina and the Vagabonds and Nooky Jones. They have recorded for Prince, Grammy-winner Big Walter Smith, and many other groups.
CSB has been heard by thousands of people outside of the Twin Cities area on local concert series performances, summer music festivals, performances with school bands, and collaborations with other local arts groups. Recent performance activities include concert tours throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, and New Mexico. CSB has captured its exclusive arrangements on five CDs.
Mariachi Mi Tierra
Mariachi Mi Tierra is the oldest Mariachi ensemble in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area. Rosalio Castro (trumpet),who formed the group in 2003, has been playing various Mexican styles of music since he was in his teens. Eduardo Castro (also trumpet) is the group’s director.
Finally it is possible to bring together a group that could produce the full sound of authentic mariachi. The members of Mariachi Mi Tierra have brought a great number of regional and current favorites into the group’s repertoire. In addition to events in the local Mexican community, “Mariachi Mi Tierra” also plays at schools, colleges, businesses, casinos, and festivals. Mariachi Mi Tierra has played previously at Vintage Band Festival in 2014 and 2015.
Metro Brass is a group of 11 amateur musicians from the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area that has only been playing together for five years. They all play in other ensembles, but come together for the “Metro Brass Sound”. Metro Brass is led by Keith Thompson (trumpet). 2018 is the first appearance of Metro Brass at Vintage Band Festival.
Minnesota State Band
The Minnesota State Band, the official band of the State of Minnesota and the only remaining state band in the United States, has existed since 1898.Its history is closely tied to state military traditions, as well as a tradition of touring; since 1986 it has participated in six concert tours of Europe.While international travel is important, the band believes its primary mission is to provide high quality music to Minnesota residents.It operates as a non-profit organization with an all-volunteer membership.
New Prague Community Band
The New Prague Community Band consists of community members ranging from teenagers to retirees. It plays a diverse selection of band repertoire, striving to entertain all sorts of audiences. Band members are an energetic group who believe that music is fun; they try to show that in their attitudes and in the songs they play at local events and area celebrations throughout the year. The conductor of the New Prague Community Band is Rush Wagner.
Sheldon Theatre Brass Band
The Sheldon Theatre Brass Band was founded in 1989 as the resident performing ensemble at the newly restored turn-of-the-century T.B.Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing.The band is made up of cornets, trombones, tenor horns, euphoniums, tubas and percussion.In addition to its regular performances at the Sheldon Theatre, the band performs at a variety of venues throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin, and it has performed at many brass band festivals throughout the United States including NABBA Great American Brass Band Festival.
Southside Aces perform traditional New Orleans jazz. The band first began as the brainchild of Clarinetist Tony Balluff and Sousaphone player Erik Jacobson. Their whispers and rumors materialized in Tony’s foyer near Pillsbury and 27th in South Minneapolis, late August 2003. Since their first gig on a flatbed truck in Apple Valley, they’ve played weddings, festivals, clubs— “music furnished for all occasions”. The Aces self-produced and released five albums : All Aboard!! , Bucktown Bounce, A Big Fine Thing, their Christmas album, Santaphone, and their latest, Second Thursday. Their music garnered the declaration, “A true authentic New Orleans dance-hall style band” from the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Quarterly.
In New Orleans, the jazz tradition thrives off a wide array of tunes and styles. With such a wealth of good music from which to draw, the group is dedicated to highlighting the songs and not the players. They possess a diverse repertoire, with a roll call that includes the names of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Bix Beiderbecke. Many songs from lesser-known constellations in the jazz firmament such as AJ Piron and Tiny Parham found their way in there, plus Crescent City classics like Bourbon Street Parade, Just A Closer Walk With Thee and St. James Infirmary. Finally, lets not forget the funky rhythms of brass band powerhouses like Mardi Gras In New Orleans and Palm Court Strut. Songs as good as these don’t need a lot of help!
The Southside Aces have performed at the Times and the Dakota jazz clubs, Peavey Plaza, Mears Park, Twin Cities Jazz Fest, Hopkins Jazz Festival, and the Doc Evans Jazz Festival. They have driven dancers to a frenzy at national lindy hop competitions: “Showdown”, in Minneapolis; “Big Apple” and “Cowtown Jamborama” in Omaha. We have Balboa covered as well: “Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout” and “Minnesota Balboa Fest.” All of which, if you’re keeping score, makes us a “territory band”. Found at weddings, birthdays, banquets and memorials, the Aces utilize the traditional cannon for its sweetness, its spice, its joy, its sorrow; whatever the mood should call for. They’ll even take requests.
Twin Cities Brass Band
Twin Cities Brass Band is a British-style brass band that calls Bloomington, Minnesota home.Their conductor is Adam Hille.