Rebirth Brass Band
New Orleans is the home to jazz, as well as great groups like the Rebirth Brass Band that brings a special combination of jazz, funk, soul and hip hop to every performance they have. The brass band has been playing music since it was founded in 1983 when Kermit Ruffins and brothers Keith Frazier & Phillip Frazier (aka Tuba Phil) collaborated with classmates from their high school.
The band is iconic in their genre, as evidenced by their numerous accolades including the inaugural Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album being given to the Rebirth of New Orleans in 2012 and being named OffBeat magazine’s Best Brass Band. NOLA Brewing Company even paid tribute to the band with the release of their Rebirth Pale Ale in 2014.
Their 1984 debut session record is aptly named Here to Stay! since the Rebirth Brass Band has been performing since the time the group started. Five years later, the group came out with their second album Feel Like Funkin’ It Up that made a big impression on the music world thanks to tracks such as:
- “Mexican Special”
- Their rendition of the classic Louis Armstrong song “You Rascal You”
- “I’m Walkin’”
- “Big Chief”
- “Shake Your Body”
Do Whatcha Wanna
The first track off of ”Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” is called “Do Whatcha Wanna, Pt. 2” and is among their most famous. Music lovers enjoy this song because of its call & response from the horns and drums in combination with the Bamboula rhythm that can be heard in the bass drum and tuba.
In fact, the Rebirth Brass Band named one of their future albums Do Whatcha Wanna. Other live and studio albums that the group released in the 1990s include:
- Kickin’ It Live featuring songs like “Freedom” and “Kidd Joran’s Second Line”
- Take It to the Street with covers & originals such as “Caledonia, “Flip, Flop & Fly,” “Tornado Special” and “Steppin’ Out”
- Rollin that has “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Just a Little While to Stay Here” and six other great tracks
- We Come to the Party featuring the title track, “Roll With It” and more infectious songs
- The Main Event: Live at the Maple Leaf with “Blackbird Special” and “The Main Event” medley track
Rebirth Brass Band Casanova
The Rebirth Brass Band kept on playing and releasing into the new millennium with 2001’s Hot Venom that featured the track “Rebirth Melody / Casanova.” This song is a medley representative of the group’s change in direction to showcase more of a rap and hip hop influence while keeping in tune with the group’s traditional brass band roots.
Though they continued to play music, their album releases became fewer and far between. In 2008, they came out with a 25th Anniversary album and their Grammy Award-winning Rebirth of New Orleans dropped three years later. The Rebirth Brass Band’s most recent studio record was released in 2014 and is titled Move Your Body.
Rebirth Brass Band Tour
Even though some of the original members are no longer with the group, you’ll still hear the influence of trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and snare drummer Derrick Tabb when you see the Rebirth Brass Band on tour, which includes founding members Keith Frazier on bass drum and Phillip Frazier on tuba.
From the streets of the French Quarter to the hallowed halls of many famous concert venues, the Rebirth Brass Band puts on a can’t-miss show every time.