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Youngblood Brass Band Leads Workshops at McNally Smith, Students to Support Band at May 8 Concert

Internationally renowned “riot jazz” ensemble Youngblood Brass Band kicked off its month-long spring tour on Monday, April 14 with an appearance at McNally Smith College of Music. The ten-piece group lead hands-on workshops with students — touching on topics such as New Orleans music history and brass and hip-hop phrasing techniques — before performing in the McNally Smith Auditorium. The concert concluded with several students and faculty members from the Brass and Woodwinds program joining the band onstage.

This collaboration will continue three weeks later, when students in McNally Smith’s Brass and Woodwinds and Hip-Hop programs support the band as the opening act for its Thursday, May 8 concert at the Triplerock Social Club in Minneapolis. Students in McNally Smith’s Live Sound program will conduct the pre-show sound check. CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS.

Formed in the mid-‘90s in Madison, Wisc., Youngblood Brass Band is known for its unique blending of traditional New Orleans-style jazz with hip-hop vocals and funk grooves, as well as its high-energy live performances at international mega-festivals such as Glastonbury, Roskilde and SXSW. The band has collaborated with rap luminary Talib Kweli and has had its compositions (most notably, 2003 hit “Brooklyn”) performed by student marching bands and jazz ensembles worldwide. Citing “really good public school system arts-education programs” for providing crucial inspiration when they were teens, the Youngblood Brass Band frequently engages in music outreach endeavors at high schools and colleges.

“We’re delighted for this opportunity for our students to study with a group of world-class contemporary musicians like the Youngblood Brass Band and then directly apply what they’ve learned in a real-world context,” says Dr. Scott Agster, McNally Smith Brass and Woodwinds faculty member. “Youngblood’s modus operandi also aligns with the DIY ethos that we teach here at the College — by pairing their musical vision with shrewd entrepreneurial skills, they’ve achieved fulfilling, sustainable lives in music. Our students will benefit greatly from this experience.”

Students in the McNasty Brass and Breaking Brass ensembles, led by Agster, will collaborate with students in the College’s Hip-Hop program (led by Rhymesayers recording artist Toki Wright), for the May 8 Youngblood Brass Band performance. Tickets for the concert can be purchased online right here or at the Triplerock — $10 advance, $12 day of show.