2013 NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL® CELEBRATES
THE 35th ANNIVERSARY OF
THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND, WHICH REVOLUTIONIZED
THE CLASSIC NEW ORLEANS BRASS BAND STYLE
WITH FUNK AND BEBOP
“When the Dirty Dozen swings into Newport, jazz fans are in for a treat,” said George Wein, producer and creator of the Newport Jazz Festival. “We go back together since their beginning and I am always excited to hear their special magic. In fact, I recorded their first album through the George Wein Collection on Concord Records. They ushered in a bold new sound then, and they continue to make their mark on new audiences around the world.”
Established in 1977 by bass drummer Benny Jones, with members of the Tornado Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has brought to its global travels a strong appetite for musical adventure, a commitment to honor tradition while not being constrained by it, and a healthy sense of humor.
To describe how the group arrived at its 35th anniversary, trumpet player Gregory Davis employs a tried-and true New Orleans-centric analogy: “It ends up being like a pot of gumbo – you drop in a little okra, drop in a little shrimp, you drop in some crabs. Before you know it, you’ve mixed in all these different ingredients and you’ve got a beautiful soup. That was our approach to music early on and it still is today.”
Baritone sax player Roger Lewis -- who, like Davis, has been with the band since its inception in 1977 -- echoes that sentiment: “It’s a big old musical gumbo, and that probably made the difference, separating us from other brass bands out of New Orleans. It put a different twist on the music. We were not trying to change anything, we were just playing the music we wanted to play and not stay in one particular bag.”
To celebrate its 35th Anniversary, which was technically in 2012, the band released Twenty Dozen, its first studio release in six years. Cut at the Music Shed in New Orleans, the collection reunited the Dirty Dozen Brass Band with producer Scott Billington, who helmed their first major label release Voodoo in 1989. The set offers a blend of R&B, jazz, funk, Afro-Latino grooves, Caribbean flavors, a Rihanna cover – and a high spirited rendering of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
Produced by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.™, the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, is set for August 2 – 4 featuring Natalie Cole, Wayne Shorter with special guest Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Eddie Palmieri, Marcus Miller and many more. For the complete line-up and more information, log on to www.newportjazzfest.org or call the Newport Festivals Foundation hotline at (401) 848-5055.