The New Orleans-based Hot 8 Brass Band has been around for over 20 years. The brass group got its start in 1996 with the merging of two former high school student groups, the High Steppers and the Looney Tunes Brass Bands.
The band often features 10 members, including three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, bass drum, and snare drum as well as one reed player. In addition to local jazz clubs and nightclubs, they often play in community parades and traditional jazz funerals.
The Hot 8’s funk style is a blend of influences from bands like the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth, with more elements of contemporary R&B and rap. Their unique sound is due to a steady stream of creative original songs and ideas introduced by various members.
The story of the Hot 8 has been one of tragedy and triumph. Four of the original members have passed away due to street violence and illness, while Hurricane Katrina was another life-altering event. The Hot 8 were featured in two Spike Lee documentaries, When the Levees Broke (2006) and If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (2010).
The band has recorded several albums, EPs and remixes. Their latest album, On the Spot, was released in April 2017 and is named for the glorious moment in a New Orleans parade when the band stops to take a break but keeps noodling with their instruments for the crowd.
Last updated: August, 2017