VBF 2019 Band Profiles: Minnesota Bands

34th Infantry Division Band “The Red Bull Band”

Officially organized 30 April 1900, the 34th Infantry Division Band has proudly served state and nation for over 114 years, seeing service in WWI, WWII and the Global War on Terrorism. Whether performing for the public, supporting military ceremonies, or entertaining US Service members and our allies, the Soldier-Musicians of the Red Bull Band are honored to serve in one of the US Army’s most respected Divisions. The 34th Infantry Division Band performs many free public performances throughout Minnesota, including the Minnesota Music Educators Conference, the Minnesota State Fair, and Vikings and Twins sporting events among others.

34th Infantry Division Band “The Red Bull Band”

Ameriikan Poijat

  Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America), Finnish American Brass Septet, was founded in 1990. The group performs at ethnic festivals, regional tours, and music conferences, presenting authentic social dance music and concert repertoire. The repertoire of Ameriikan Poijat is derived directly from original hand manuscript sources found among Finnish bands and archives. Waltzes, schottisches, polkas, mazurkas, polonaises, and other social dances are well represented in their repertoire. In recent years Ameriikan Poijat has traveled widely in the U.S. and Canada, and has appeared at several events, such as Finnfest USA. In February 2005, Ameriikan poijat was invited to perform the entire brass septet repertoire of Jean Sibelius at the International Sibelius Conference, held at the University of North Texas. The leader of Ameriikan Poijat is Dr. Paul Niemisto.

Ameriikan Poijat

Banda la Verdadera

This high-energy Minneapolis band is making its second appearance at Vintage Band Festival. Banda la Verdadera is a type of traditional Mexican music that features brass instruments, woodwinds, drums, and singing. The band performs a variety of pieces, including rancheras, boleros, and cumbias.

Banda La Verdadera USA

Bavarian Musikmeisters

Members of Bavarian Musikmeisters hail from the Twin Cities and model themselves after traditional German village bands, lederhosen and all. The band’s 35 musicians perform authentic musical arrangements on a variety of brass and woodwind instruments: flute, clarinet, trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor horn, baritone, trombone, tuba and percussion. They perform for numerous events in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and have performed at Germanic festivals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota, as well as at the German-American Mardi Gras Association annual meeting in Las Vegas. Bavarian Musikmeisters are Vintage Band Festival veterans.

Bavarian Musikmeisters

Bend in the River Big Band

Street dances have been a part of Vintage Band Festival for many years. Providing the soundtrack for the 2019 Victory Dance is the Bend in the River Big Band from the Mankato area. The band formed in 1987 from alumni of Gustavus Adolphus College under the direction of Dr. Mark Lammers. This 19-piece ensemble is currently led by Bob Hallquist, who also plays trumpet and percussion. The band’s vocalist is Linnea Marrin. Everyone should bring their dancin’ shoes and be ready to swing!

Bend in the River Big Band

Brass Lassie

A bold new band based in the Twin Cities, Brass Lassie combines traditional tunes, songs, and style with dazzling modern horn lines, sparking their own genre of eclectic, remarkable music. ten-members strong, the ensemble performs takes on Scottish, Irish and French music, traditional and new, featuring a powerful 4-piece horn section, a terrific rhythm section, fiddles, flutes, pipes and vocals, plus occasional percussive dance. Their rich repertoire includes traditional and new Irish reels, jigs and hornpipes, Scottish and French-Canadian tunes, ancient Irish airs, Cape Breton dance tunes and puirt à beul (mouth music), new arrangements of Scots Gaelic waulking songs, music from Brittany and Central France, Scottish ballads with a big band spirit, and even Latin-infused Celtic dance tunes. The band is led by Northfield native Laura McKenzie. Brass Lassie  appeared at Vintage Band Festival for the first time in 2017.

Brass Lassie

Brio Brass

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. All of the music that Brio Brass plays has been composed or arranged by the director, Rick Rueckert. He has written more than 200 arrangements and compositions. Expect lots of humming, toe tapping and even dancing in the aisles!

Brio Brass

Copper Street Brass

The members of Copper Street Brass have style, substance and a flair for innovation, which has allowed them to transcend the brass quintet box and evolve into something fresh. Copper Street Brass started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2007 and settled down in Minneapolis in 2008. The group’s new tour program, “The Evolution of the Brass Quintet,” features music from Mozart to Dave Brubeck to Adele. Its blend of musical styles and fusion of electronic effects and brass has wowed audiences in communities across the country. Last season the quintet performed for 4,300 students in 25 school residencies throughout Minnesota. The Artistic Director of Copper Street Brass is Tim Bradley. The band is a veteran performer at Vintage Band Festival.

Copper Street Brass

Dirty Shorts Brass Band

Dirty Shorts Brass Band’s hometown is St.Paul but they are a New Orleans-style brass
band. They play jazz, Dixie, funk, blues, swing and more!

Dirty Shorts Brass Band

Dolce Wind Quintet

  This Twin Cities-based woodwind quintet performs at special events throughout Minnesota, including The Schubert Club Courtroom concert series in St. Paul and the Munsinger/Clemens Gardens concert series in St. Cloud. It also plays classical and popular music for weddings, artists’ series, and charity benefits. The group has been featured on Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s holiday sampler broadcast. All members of Dolce Wind Quintet teach and perform in the Twin Cities area and hold positions with other chamber ensembles and several orchestras – from Bloomington and Rochester to Mankato and Duluth. Dolce Wind Quintet has performed at Vintage Band Festival multiple times.

Dolce Wind Quintet

Fridley Old Time Band

The Fridley Old Time Band is a specialty band formed by about 20 members of the
larger Fridley City Band. The Old Time Band plays “old-time,” German-style polkas,
waltzes, schottisches and marches. The band is based in Fridley, Minnesota but performs in many surrounding cities.

Fridley City Band

Hornucopia: A Tribute to Horn Bands in the Rock Era

In 1969, the music of Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago Transit Authority (among many others) could be heard on every street corner in America. In acknowledging the tremendous contributions of these bands and their music, Vintage Band Festival presents Hornucopia, an 11-member band from the Twin Cities metro performing horn tune tributes of the rock era (1960s to the present). Their music ranges from rock to ska, swing to pop, soul to funk, and Latin to blues. Hornucopia is led by frontman and vocalist Kevin Thomas.

Hornucopia

Jack Brass Band

The Jack Brass Band formed in 1999 in the Twin Cities metro. Based on the traditions of New Orleans brass bands, they are ambassadors of the Crescent City’s rich musical history. The 8-piece band plays “Feel-Good Music” for audiences of any age, for any occasion. JBB has the ability and repertoire to play everything from old New Orleans jazz from Louis Armstrong’s era, to the modern street Mardi-Gras anthems with the instrumentation, feel, and energy they have mastered through countless gigs, parades, festival appearances, and trips to New Orleans to listen, learn, and play alongside the masters. The band is led by percussionist Mike Olander.

Jack Brass Band

Lake Wobegon© Brass Band

  The Lake Wobegon© Brass Band is a British-style Brass Band from Anoka. The British style is a tradition noted for its characteristic dark, mellow tone. The name Lake Wobegon© does come from Garrison Keillor’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, and was allowed on the stipulation that the band perform at a picnic sometime for Keillor. The ensemble gives concerts throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas and has toured twice in Great Britain. The band is led by Chris Ravndal. Lake Wobegon© Brass Band is a Vintage Band Festival veteran performer.

Lake Wobegon© Brass Band

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 played various Mexican styles of music since he was in his teens. Eduardo Castro (also trumpet) is the group’s director. Together, the Castros have brought together a group that produces the full sound of authentic mariachi in Minnesota. The group’s repertoire includes a number of regional and current favorites. In addition to events in the local Mexican community, Mariachi Mi Tierra plays at schools, colleges, businesses, casinos, and festivals. Mariachi Mi Tierra performed previously at the Vintage Band Festival in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Mariachi Mi Tierra

Matterhorn Alphorns

Formerly known as Rocky Mountain Alphorn Trio, these artists play annual gigs at the Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis and the Minnesota History Center. The Matterhorn Alphorns perform traditional Swiss alphorn folk tunes in solos, duets, and trios. The trio is led by Vicki Wheeler. Matterhorn Alphorns first performed at Vintage Band Festival in 2006.

Matterhorn Alphorns

McNasty Brass Band

McNasty Brass Band is a collection of Minneapolis/Saint Paul-based horn players and percussionists that fuse the Minneapolis sound with the spirit of New Orleans. The outcome of this fusion is hard-hitting dance music and high-energy live shows.
Each player works tirelessly outside McNasty Brass Band as a side man, some with national and international touring acts. That’s what makes McNasty special–these youthful but experienced side men come together and showcase their compositions, solos, group vocals, and stage presence as front men. “McNasty Brass Band is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t make fun of the kid who is super into trumpet in 5th grade” (twincitiesmedia.net). “King Size Life,” their first studio album, encapsulates their live energy with exciting compositions, rowdy gang vocals, and rip-roaring solos. The only thing missing is their dance moves! McNasty Brass Band is led by Sten Johnson and this is the band’s second appearance at Vintage Band Festival.

McNasty Brass Band

Metro Brass

Metro Brass is a group of 11 amateur musicians from the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area that has only played 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).

Metro Brass

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. Several Northfield, Minnesota residents are members of the Minnesota State Band. The conductor is Keith Liuzzi. Minnesota State Band has appeared multiple times at Vintage Band Festival.

Minnesota State Band

New Prague Community Band

The New Prague Area 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 New Prague Area Community Band is Rush Wagner. New Prague Area Community Band has performed at every Vintage Band Festival since 2006.

New Prague Community Band

The Preludes to a Blizzard

The Preludes to a Blizzard, or more commonly called The Preludes, is a mixed genre, modular brass band. Based out of Minneapolis, the group has been around in various iterations since 2010 solidifying with recent performances at the Garlic Festival. Formed from the combination of a Klezmer band, a brass quintet, and a jazz horn section, The Preludes boast a very diverse musical range. With the stylistic agility of a capricious blizzard wind, the music is always kept fresh! The band leader is Caleb Likely. Preludes to a Blizzard is performing at Vintage Band Festival for the first time.

Preludes to a Blizzard

St. Cloud Municipal Band

The St. Cloud Municipal Band is believed to have started after the Civil War (1865), when union soldiers brought their instruments back home. At that time they were called the St Cloud Union Band, which later changed to the St Cloud Municipal Band. We do not know for sure when the band came into existence, but in an obituary dated from 1875, it was stated that a member played with the band “for a number of years” by that time. The band was supported by community groups until the 1940s, when they became part of the city of St. Cloud. Not wanting the liability of the band anymore, the city asked the group in the early 2000s to become their own nonprofit organization. This the first time that St. Cloud Municipal Band has appeared at Vintage Band Festival.

St. Cloud Municipal Band

Selby Avenue Brass Band

The Selby Avenue Brass Band is a relatively new voice in the Minneapolis / St. Paul music scene. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger and composer and music educator in the Twin Cities area. Tom’s compositions and arrangements fuel a band comprised of enthusiastic and experienced musicians (including a couple of Grammy winners). While their musical roots come from the streets of New Orleans they expand from that genre into many others. This is the first appearance of Selby Avenue Brass Band at Vintage Band Festival.

Selby Avenue Brass Band

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, MN. 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. The band is conducted by James Kirchner and has performed at every Vintage Band Festival.

Sheldon Theatre Brass Band

 

Southside Aces

Southside Aces perform traditional New Orleans jazz. The band began as the brainchild of clarinetist Tony Balluff and sousaphone player Erik Jacobson. The Aces have 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.”
The Southside Aces have performed at the Vieux Carré and Dakota jazz clubs, Peavey Plaza, Mears Park, Twin Cities Jazz Fest, Hopkins Jazz Festival, and the Doc Evans Jazz Festival. 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. Southside Aces is led by clarinetist Tony Baluff and is appearing for the second time at Vintage Band Festival.

Southside Aces

Stone Arch Jazz Band

The Stone Arch Jazz Band plays the soul-touching old music known as Traditional Jazz (close to how it was played in New Orleans around 1900-1930) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. They play regularly every third Sunday of the month at the Underground Music Cafe and every third Thursday of the month in the Ballroom at the Eagles 34 Club. The band is led by Richard Lund and has never performed at Vintage Band Festival until this year.

Stone Arch Jazz Band

Twin Cities Brass Band

The Twin Cities Brass Band brings the grandeur and excellence of European-style brass bands to the heart of Minnesota. They inspire to promote leadership and inspiration for younger generations and enrich lives through music. The band is conducted by Adam Hille.

Twin Cities Brass Band

Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble

Understanding that the trumpet holds a special place in the psyche of society, the Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble seeks to enliven, entertain, and enrich the community through the highest level of professional performance prowess and the presentation of music of quality and stylistic and temperamental diversity. It exemplifies the transformative power of music through the performance of music written or arranged for three or more trumpets. The ensemble has performed numerous concerts in the tri-state area, including performances at Lake Como Pavilion and several churches. The band is led by James Olcott. The Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble has performed at Vintage Band Festival several times.

Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble

WindWorks Quintet

WindWorks Quintet is a Northfield and Twin Cities area professional woodwind quintet that was founded in 1993. The group’s goal is to promote woodwind quintet music, as well as instrumental chamber music of all kinds, by performing recitals throughout the TwinCities metropolitan area, greater Minnesota and surrounding states. WindWorks was formerly known as The North Winds and is led by Jo Ann Polley. Windwork Wind Quintet has made multiple appearances at Vintage Band Festival.

Windworks Quintet