The lineup is set for the Thursday-Saturday evening shows on the Bridge Square main stage at Vintage Band Festival 2019. New to the VBF stage this year will be Bend in the River Big Band, a 19-piece swing band playing for the Friday night Victory Dance; and Hornucopia: A Tribute to Horns in the Rock Era. The other six bands have performed at Vintage Band Festival in previous years and are coming back due to audience accolades.
Thursday, August 1
6:00pm—Jack Brass Band
7:00pm– Mariachi Mi Tierra
8:30pm—McNasty Brass Band
Friday, August 2
6:30pm—Copper Street Brass
8:30pm—Bend in the River Big Band
Saturday, August 3
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.
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.
McNasty Brass Band
McNasty 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!
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.
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!
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).
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.
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 front man and vocalist Kevin Thomas.