The brass-band sound is a proud tradition of New Orleans. But over the years, those horns have evolved to embrace a broader repertoire, full of funk and jazz and even a little hip-hop — and the sounds have migrated well beyond Louisiana. Take NO BS! Brass Band, whose core members met at Virgina Commonwealth University and proudly claim Richmond, Va. as their home base.
"Those fantastic brass bands from New Orleans, they already have their sound, and they have a tradition, and it's a part of American history already. There is no adding yourself to that," says trombone player Reggie Pace. "We wanted to make something that sounded like the music that we listened to, and the city that we lived in."
NO BS! Brass Band's sixth album, Brass Knuckles, comes out on Nov. 20, and Pace joined NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about it. Hear more of their conversation, including how the group writes lyrics and why it decided to take a political stand after the death of Freddie Gray this spring, at the audio link.