Hot 8 Brass Band
New Orleans’ Grammy-Nominated Hot 8 Brass Band were formed by Bennie Pete (tuba), Jerome “Bay Bay” Jones (trombone), and Harry “Swamp Thang” Cook (bass drum); initially brought together to play brass band music professionally.
Although many of the members began jamming together in high school, over time the line-up has naturally shifted and changed. But any incarnation of Hot 8 Brass Band will boast eight or nine players of the highest rate, bringing passion and noise through a bevy of trombones, saxophones, trumpets, snare and bass drums, all buoyed up by the immense tuba basslines of band leader Bennie Pete.
Inspired by artists such as Tuba Fats, Leroy Jones, Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, Stevie Wonder and Jackie McLean – the group also cite each other as influences. Supporting the likes of Mos Def, Lauryn Hill and Mary J Blige, Hot 8 boast several international tours – with highlight performances at Glastonbury, roof-raising sold-out shows at London’s Roundhouse and Brighton Dome, live at Maida Vale for Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music, on the prestigious bill of for Jools Holland Annual Hootenanny, the list goes on endlessly.
With the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the separate deaths of five band members and trumpeter Terrell “Burger” Batiste losing his legs in a car crash, these men have been tested by a barely imaginable series of trials. Their tragic yet life-affirming story has been featured in the Spike Lee documentaries When The Levees Broke and The Creek Don’t Rise, and David Simon’s HBO series Treme; 2016 interviews with Mary Anne Hobbs (6Music) and BBC World Service’s Outlook chimed especially intensely with listeners in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The band have built an international following including notable press and praise from; The Observer, Songlines, Rolling Stone, Billboard and The Independent; radio sessions for BBC 6Music Morning Show, BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Jazz FM, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC R3.
One of the funkiest groups from the New Orleans scene, Hot 8 Brass Band continue to win over audiences and deliver on every release with their old school street brass approach, fusing it with some harder, funkier currents in the process. Honouring their city’s musical traditions while forging their own powerful legacy, their story continues with each new and exciting release.
“These records celebrate the times we have had both before and after the storm. Burying our dead and letting their spirits soar, celebrating our city and the lives that our band mates have lived individually and collectively as Hot 8” Bennie Pete explains.Read more