It’s time to start highlighting the amazing roster of bands for 2019. We’ll begin with an international ensemble from Belgium: À Râse dè têre.
À Râse dè têre (literally meaning “at ground level” in Walloon language) was created in 2005. They play dance tunes called “arguèdènes” 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.