(Northfield, MN May 2013) – Cultural influences from all over the world contributed to the rich history of American brass bands. Attendees of this summer’s Vintage Band Festival will hear this richness expressed through the performances of a number of ethnic bands, including several from Minnesota.
Here’s a look at some of those bands participating in the Aug. 1-4 festival:
The Brass Messengers started as a street band playing the music of the Caribbean and Balkans. http://www.brassmessengers.com/ This Minneapolis-based band is well known for its lively performances and its involvement in the Heart of the Beast May Day Parade. “Our music of choice is anything that fits in the twisted brass tubing, from originals to covers from around the globe, as long as it makes a joyful noise.”
The entertainment band tradition of klezmer, secular Jewish music that originated in Eastern Europe, will be represented at the Vintage Band Festival by the Klezmerica band of the Twin Cities. Also known as the Frozen Chosen, Klezmerica has played all over the United States, in Canada, and Israel. (http://frozenchozen.com/)
Traditional Mexican music styles of mariachi and banda also have influenced the American brass band sound. Minneapolis-based Mariachi mi Tierra (http://www.mitierramnonline.com/) has performed widely around the country, and at events closer to home, like Minnesota Twins baseball games. Mariachi music has incredible diversity, from rapid tempo “sones” (quick songs), to “romånticas” to dance forms such as the “cumbia”, “bolero”, “polka”, and “vals” (waltz). They include the typical instruments: trumpets, fiddles, and guitars.
Among the other Minnesota bands reflecting ethnic traditions are the Original New Ulm German Band and the Bavarian Musikmeisters (http://www.musikmeisters.com/), both well known in their own communities and around the region. For the Bavarian Musikmeisters, the music is about “sharing the beauty, enjoyment, and history of traditional Germanic band music and culture with people of all ages.”
The Minnesota-based Finnish band Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America) recently returned from a concert and festival tour of Finland, performing at the Lieksa International Brass Week and on the main esplanade in Helsinki and many other locations. The seven brass players are from all corners of Minnesota. (www.ameriikanpoijat.org)
Visit our website for more information and a four-day schedule with over 100 performances at http://vintagebandfestival.org/festival/schedule/. Stay tuned for more news from the Vintage Band Festival as exciting national and international bands (soon to be announced) will bring their heritage music to this year’s festival, as well! Our news blog can be found at http://vintagebandfestival.org/news/.
The Vintage Band Festival is a four-day celebration featuring bands from across the US and abroad. Over 100 concerts fill the streets of historic Northfield and satellite concerts sites throughout southern Minnesota on August 1-4. The Festival offers a variety of genres, ethnic influences, and period-style performances. Visit http://vintagebandfestival.org/ for more information.
Find us on Facebook at “Vintage Band Festival” and Twitter at @vintagebandfest.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.