À Râse dè têre (Belgium)
The ensemble À Râse dè têre (literally meaning “at ground level” in Walloon language) was created in 2005. They play dance tunes called “arguèdenes” in the Walloon dialect spoken in southern Belgium. Traditionally, the melody line is orally transmitted and the accompaniment is improvised. A flugelhorn, cornet, euphonium, and helicon form a balanced ensemble that is well suited to this musical genre in vogue from the mid-19th century until the turn of the 20th century. The group is composed of four passionate amateur brass musicians: a museum curator, a psychologist, a postman and a police officer. They received their initial musical training in Belgian village bands before improving their skills in music academies or conservatories. They learned numerous “arguèdenes” on the job when they were young bandsmen, alongside older musicians. They want to perpetuate this rustic and old-fashioned music and thus prove that it can also be charming and full of subtleties. The band leader is Géry Dumoulin. This is the first time that À Râse dè têre has performed at Vintage Band Festival.
Original Drachenfelser Musikanten (Germany)
Coming from Germany is Original Drachenfelser Musikanten, a folk music brass band reflecting the Rhineland tradition of the Drachenfels Mountains. Masters of polka, the band features a tenor horn, trumpet, tuba and accordion. Their leader, tuba player Erhard Schwarz, was at the VBF for the first time in 2006 and is a noted specialist on such exotic instruments as the ophicleide and helicon. Drachenfelser have been regular participants in the Vintage Band Festival in recent years and have a dedicated fan club among the locals of German and Czech traditions. Original Drachenfelser Musikanten has previously played at Vintage Band Festival in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
FinnBrass is a “project ensemble” that was formed to do tours and performances. They are made up of players from two communities in Finland, Kokkola and Kronoby. They specialize in performing traditional Finnish brass music from earlier decades. They represent a wide range of professions (from education, to medicine, to technology and engineering). Their instrumentation is based on the traditional village brass band of the 1800s. This is FinnBrass’s first appearance at Vintage Band Festival.