Brass supergroup to kick off jazz festival

BRASS supergroup, Kick Ass Brass, which includes some of the country’s top jazz and funk musicians, will open this year’s Jazz Jurassica on Friday, May 24 in Lyme Regis.

The growing popularity of contemporary brass bands, playing jazz, soul, funk and even pop material, finally persuaded festival organisers that it was time for West Dorset to get loud, proud and brassy.

Kick Ass Brass is one of funk’s best kept secret. You won’t, for example, find them on Google, Facebook or Instagram. That’s because they’re a group of seasoned musicians, with successful solo careers or play in other bands.

They rarely get a chance to play with each other. But they’ve come together for this special opening night performance.

Festival organiser, Julie Sheppard, said: “They really are a supergroup as you won’t get another chance to see these great musicians perform together on one night”.

With 10 musicians in the line-up, Kick Ass Brass pumps out a big sound from a large horn section including saxophones, trumpet and trombone, plus pulsating rhythms from piano, guitar, bass and drums.

Inspired by the legendary 70s American R&B band, Tower of Power, Kick Ass combine their signature hot horn sound with banging beats and soulful vocals.

Band-leader Ian Bateman, one of the country’s leading trombone players, is a big Tower of Power fan. He wanted to celebrate the US band’s long recording and touring career with a fitting tribute to their brand of music.

Digging deep into that band’s repertoire as well as the soul classics of James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire and Curtis Mayfield, Kick Ass exude excitement, energy and lots of funk.

On the night, talented local singer Eleisha May will join the band adding her soulful vocals to the mix. Eleisha wowed festival audiences two years ago with her sultry renditions of jazz standards and soul classics.

Coincidentally, she’s the daughter of Craig Milverton, the award-winning pianist, who also joins the band on the night.

Julie added: “You can’t have a jazz festival without brass so we thought we’d go the whole hog. Kick Ass Brass is a big banging funky brass band with pounding soul classics at its heart.

“This will be a really special show for our opening night. What a great way to start the weekend!”

Jazz Jurassica will be held over the Bank Holiday weekend of Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27. For full programme and ticket details visit the website 

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