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  • Julia Soulsby

Lowdown Brass Band – Chicago’s Own

Brass band music is a long-standing tradition of musical ensemble that consists of brass instruments (such as trumpet and trombone) along with a rhythm section. Though there are multiple styles of brass bands, the term was made popular in the United States in New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the rise of jazz and second line in the South.

Lowdown Brass Band

As brass band music has evolved, it has taken on new aspects of different genres to make a brand-new genre of its own—like a musical quilt.  Lowdown Brass Band merges jazz with funk, hip hop, reggae, and soul to create their own version of the brass band style, but with a very cool Chicago edge. The band consists of members Shane Jonas (trumpet and lead vocals), Sam Johnson (trumpet), Andrew Zelm (trombone), Matt Davis (trombone), Lance Loiselle (sousaphone), John Barbush (drums) and Anthony Evora AKA MC Billa Camp (rhymes and poetry). Each member played a crucial role in the ensemble and not a single person was left behind in the action.

Lowdown Brass Band on stage

While I was running around taking pictures, I realized I had never been to a show of this caliber before. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen my fair share of great concerts (traditional brass bands, jazz, and otherwise), but this one had a special ingredient I don’t get to see very often: finesse. Never once did I feel like the groove was getting lost or someone wasn’t fully aware of themselves musically in that moment. It was very purposeful and downright fun. Being a brass musician myself can sometimes make me a little biased, but it can also make me equally cynical, and Lowdown Brass Band swept all my cynicism under the carpet for a simply enjoyable show. If you are looking for good music or just a good time, this group is for you. Lowdown Brass Band is for everyone.


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