Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / Blues Highlights  / Highlight of The Week – Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Highlight of The Week – Dirty Dozen Brass Band

This week’s blues highlight is the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  These guys have been performing for over 40 years since their formation in 1977.   They blend many elements of musical genres such as BeBop Jazz, Funk and R&B/Soul.  Add the spice of each of the musician’s personalities and you have the perfect musical gumbo.  

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

These guys have toured across 5 continents and more than 30 countries. They’ve recorded twelve studio albums and collaborated with a wide range of artists such as Modest Mouse, to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones.  Forty plus years later, they are a world-famous music machine whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.  If you get a chance to see them live, you won’t regret it.  Even better, see them live in New Orleans where they go all out and tear up the stage!  

The history of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band

In 1977, The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in New Orleans began showcasing a traditional Crescent City brass band. It was a joining of two proud, but antiquated, traditions at the time.  Social and pleasure clubs dated back over a century to a time when black southerners could rarely afford life insurance.

The clubs would provide proper funeral arrangements. Brass bands, early predecessors of jazz as we know it, would often follow the funeral procession playing somber dirges. Then once the family of the deceased was out of earshot, burst into jubilant dance tunes as casual onlookers danced.

By the late ’70s, few of either existed. The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club decided to assemble this group as a house band, and over the course of these early gigs, the seven-member ensemble adopted the venue’s name: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  To learn more about this fantastic band, their tour schedule etc. Check out their website:

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Photo Credits: Chris Monaghan 

Video’s – NPR Tiny Desk / Fiyawerx Productions Presents The Dirty Dozen Brass Band performing live at the Family Funktion and Crawfish Berl 2012- A Fundraiser for the Roots of Music.. Shot live by Mike Holderbeast and the Cement Level crew Robert Major, Lewis D’Aubin and Ms Jessica Retif. Audio recorded by Steve W Richardson of MOBILE RECORDING LA..Shot on location at the historic Hotel Storyville in New Orleans during Jazz Fest 2012…