TOUR LAUNCH @ LULAWORLD FESTIVAL JUNE 4TH IN TORONTO!
with dates in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Halifax and more!
TORONTO – THE HEAVYWEIGHTS BRASS BAND kick off their summer cross-Canada tour with a special concert featuring the legendary Jamaican-Canadian vocalist Jay Douglas, and performing both their classic and new compositions. “Not since the Shuffle Demons bopped into the limelight has a young Toronto jazz band had as much impact on the local scene as the Heavyweights Brass Band.” ~ Exclaim.After coming out swinging with their debut album in 2011, followed by the highly acclaimed Brasstronomical in 2014, the Toronto-based collective will bring their kickass brass stylings to Canada’s top jazz festivals. With dates in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Halifax and more, the fun begins as part of Toronto’s Lulaworld festival at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West on Thursday, June 4th. Doors open at 9:00 pm and show starts at 10:00 pm. For more information visit www.heavyweightsbrassband.com.
This country’s greatest purveyors of feel-good horn music burst onto the Canadian jazz scene with their
energetic brass band covers of contemporary pop hits. With their latest album Brasstronomical, the Heavyweights Brass Band also offers a unique sound with emphasis on their original compositions. They delve deep and eclectically into each musical direction implied on the first release Don’t Bring Me Down and the band’s remarkable progress over the past few years is clear; their music is stronger, bolder, ballsier, funkier and more mature than ever before.
While the Heavyweights remain inspired by the New Orleans tradition – they cover the dirty, gritty “St. James Infirmary Blues” – they’re a product of their local Toronto environment and skillfully reference the incredibly diverse, multicultural music scene for which the city is known. The band lithely moves between funky modern originals like the title track and “Hypnosis” to hot-burning material like “I Think I’m Going Crazy”; from the neo soul of “Telephone” (written by Erykah Badu and two members of hip-hop royalty, The Roots) to a wild cover of the RUSH prog-rock anthem “YYZ” (a nod to their hometown Toronto); and from an especially sweet version of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” – which the band members can recall from their childhoods – to the pulsating Afro-Cuban jazz of “Misterioso.”
In fact, “Misterioso” offers a perfect example of the sort of respect that the band has earned from some of the world’s most exceptional musicians. The song features iconic national treasure and frequent collaborator Jane Bunnett, playing off of the propulsive rhythmic drive of legendary percussion master Giovanni Hidalgo – who’s performed and recorded with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Paul Simon, among countless others. Hidalgo also joins the band live at Koerner Hall on the explosive, incendiary album finale “Float.” Jamaican-born, Toronto-based, JUNO nominated R&B singer Jay Douglas – something of a mentor to the band members – soulfully sings on the traditional New Orleans-style “Booze Hounds.” In further distinctive acknowledgements, the band received props from The Roots on Twitter after opening for them, and have been championed by influential British DJ and tastemaker Gilles Peterson.
The band is composed of trombonist Christopher Butcher, Tom Richards on sousaphone, Paul Metcalfe on saxophones, Lowell Whitty on drums, Jon Challoner and John Pittman on trumpet.
TOUR DATES AT A GLANCE:
June 6- Orangeville Jazz & Blues Festival- Orangeville, ON
June 12+13: Lethbridge Jazz Festival- Lethbridge, AB
June 16: Jazz Winnipeg Festival- Winnipeg, MB *opening for Charles Bradley
June 17: Jazz Winnipeg Festival- Winnipeg, MB
June 18: Regina Jazz Festival- Regina, SK
June 19: Jazz YYC- Calgary, AB
June 20: Victoria International Jazz Fest- Victoria, BC
June 21: Vancouver International Jazz Festival- Vancouver, BC*
June 23: Edmonton International Jazz Festival- Edmonton, AB
June 24-27: Medicine Hat Jazz Festival- Medicine Hat, AB
June 28: Sasktel Jazz Festival- Saskatoon, SK
June 29: Sasktel Jazz Festival- North Battleford, SK
July 1: Ottawa Jazz Festival- Ottawa, ON
July 2-5: Festival International de Jazz de Montreal- Montreal, QC
July 6: Le Cercle w Alexandre Le Blanc Trio- Quebec. QC
July 8-9: Halifax Jazz Festival- Halifax, NS
July 11: Panamania Nathan Phillips Square- Toronto, ON*
July 13: Panamania Pan Am Park- Toronto, ON*
July 14: Panamania Distillery District- Toronto, ON*
*with special guests (Jane Bunnett, Jay Douglas, Robi Botos, Magdelys Savigne, Elmer Ferrer, Robin Layne)
"The future of music" ~ Giovanni Hidalgo
"Blown away by this thoroughly fresh piece of cultural collaboration. Never heard anything like this before!"
~ Gilles Peterson, (DJ, Record Collector/Producer, BBC Radio 1 Personality)
"The Heavyweights Brass Band" is a breath of fresh air on the Toronto music scene...”
~ Jaymz Bee, JAZZ.FM91
“Very exciting and inspiring. Not at all predictable, and great musicianship happening here!”~ Alex Cuba
“The writing is top notch… this is take no prisoners funky groove music at its best with plenty to keep the ears happy while the butt shakes!”
~ Richard Underhill
www.soundcloud.com/heavyweights-brass-band (whole album streamed)