New Breed Brass Band's mix of funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop is steeped in the culture of New Orleans and its age-old tradition of second-line brass.
Founded by five natives of New Orleans, New Breed made its street debut in the "Big Easy" as a nine-man ensemble in late 2013. The group has since showcased its original take on second-line music by opening shows for such bands as The Fray, Red Baraat, Dr. John, The Waterboys and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.
Seven members of New Breed — fronted by snare drummer Jenard Andrews and tuba player Desmond Provost — will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Howiee's, 16 N. Front St., Medford. Along with Andrews and Provost, look for trombone, saxophone, trumpets and bass drum.
New Breed’s roots are in the Treme neighborhood — originally known as "the back of town." It's the birthplace of such brass bands as Rebirth, Dirty Dozen and Lil Rascals, whose sound will always be part of New Breed.
“That’s what we came up under,” says Andrews in the band's bio at monterreyinternational.net.
Andrews — son of trumpeter James Andrews of the All Star Brass Band and nephew of Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews — recalls that as far back as he can remember, he was at his dad's side at second lines or getting sneaked into shows for James Andrews’ All Star Brass Band.
“Now we’re trying to take that sound, bring in some new stuff and expand it to a different level,” Andrews says.
Talented and ambitious, New Breed is ready to, as Andrews puts it, “rock out in a second-line style.”
Andrews is the only band member who truly grew up in second-line culture. He was raised in the heart of Treme on St. Philip and N. Robertson streets.
“They’re not your typical second-line cats,” he says of his bandmates, adding that several studied a variety of music at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and at Lusher Charter School.
Other bandmates were involved with gospel music or met while attending the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp.
Most of the members have been playing music since they were toddlers and count such New Orleans legends as James “12” Andrews, Topsy Chapman, Karl Leblanc and Bruce “Sun-pie” Barnes as family members. Playing music with their families and in high school marching bands and concert ensembles, the members of New Breed are united to one cause, and that is rocking each show to the maximum degree possible.
New Breed Brass Band's debut album was produced by Trombone Shorty, though it has not yet been released. To hear a sample of New Breed's music, go to https://soundcloud.com/newbreedbrassband/watcha-workin-it-fa-new-breed-brass-band-ft-5th-ward-weebie.
“We can’t wait,” Andrews says. “It’s a new breed of music that we’ll be bringing to our culture, and we hope to create a new sound for our city in the process.”