Add Brassband players at all ages in a special mixture, a decent amount of percussion, then add portions of Funky Stuff, a spoon full of Jazz, some Klezmer, a spill of Samba and a good shot of good mood. Mix it all – don’t shake, just stir! – let a couple of rehearsals pass by and you can be sure to see Blech und Schwefel somewhere on the streets. Whether it is a parade, a street party or just a corner in our city that for us seems to be too quiet – we play them all. Blech und Schwefel doesn’t need a PA system and no guitars – Blech und Schwefel is into self-made music: direct, moving and very, very danceable. With snares and trumpets, with a bass drum and a sousaphone, with saxes and trombones we have been playing since 1989 in and around Kassel and have been touring in Germany, Poland, Austria and France, but are still missing Italy on the list: And here we come! Blech und Schwefel – only live is real.
BrazzBanditen are a brassband from Leipzig made up of 13 to 18 tooters and a drum section – people who could not be more diverse, but who have one thing in common: their love of brass music. Formed in the cold winter of 2010/2011 in Leipzig, the BrazzBanditen have since rehearsed, debated, resolved and played. They hoot and toot whatever blossoms along the way from northern Germany to the south of France or the Balkans: traditionals mixed with their own compositions, all of it danceable. They prefer to meet not in the rehearsal room but on the streets – readily going along with happenings and demonstrations to entertain people and all sorts of initiatives. In the four years of their existence they have certainly had as many performances as rehearsals and by now know how to achieve performances bursting with energy: Hop! Lungs oiled! 1-2-3 – go!
“Buena Banda” is a brass band from Graz, Austria. The ensemble was established in 2013 by musicians from Brazil, Sweden, Italy and Croatia that met each other at the jazz department of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz during their studies. “Buena Banda” pays homage to the New Orleans brass band style, incorporating funk and bebop into the traditional New Orleans jazz style, inspired by New Orleans' bands such as Dirty Dozen brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and many others. “Buena Banda” started gaining popularity playing in the streets of Graz, then playing regularly in clubs and music halls and in July 2014 the band took part to its first jazz festival, opening the “Trieste Loves Jazz” Jazz Festival in Trieste, Italy. In February 2014 the band recorded is first demo CD.
Fiati Sprecati are a group of tubas, trombones, saxophones, clarinets, baritones, accordions, flutes and drums. Fiati Sprecati is a utopia that exists and resists. It is a social project in which there are no directors, chiefs, commanders, profits or hierarchical structures. Something that reinvents itself time and again – arising out of chance, chaos and sometimes of the unforeseen and the disobedient. They stand up for those who struggle, who find their energy and happiness in dreaming and building better places. For those who understand the sense of responsibility, those who take part and not those that come to stagger in the face of power and money, who point a finger at others, engender racism, destroy the environment and alienate us from humanity. Fiati Sprecati stands for partisans, students for the Iranian people, the Palestinian people, for the gay and lesbian movement, for anarchic free thought, for free access to water and several other concerns that they will always harbour as friends in their hearts and minds.
Murga is a way of urban communication. A fascinating and involving performance that is rooted in the tradition of Argentinian carnival. Using the power of percussion, of dance and of the spoken word, Murga blends together elements of theatre, dance and music to express a common agenda of protest, joy and hope in a very intense and unique way.
The performance of a Murga usually takes place on the streets, in a parade with musicians and dancers in colourful costumes (satin tailcoats, white gloves and eye-catching hats). They follow a structured choreography, alternating with moments of improvisation to the Afro-Latin and Argentinian rythms of the percussion instruments.
Founded during the carnival of 2009 in the il Quadraro district of Rome, Italy, Los Adoquines de Spartaco is one of several groups that cultivate the tradition of Argentinian Murga (Murga Porteña) in the Italian capital. The literal meaning of their name – “the cobblestones of Spartaco” – emphasises the group’s strong connection with the streets, their district and to the local “centro sociale”, the Spartaco, which not only hosts their rehearsals but in whose cultural, political and social activities Los Adoquines de Spartaco are also strongly involved. Their costumes also feature the colours of Spartaco’s rugby team.
Over the past years, Los Adoquines de Spartaco participated in demonstrations in Rome as well as in other parts of Italy, in buskers’ festivals, village fetes, school projects and, of course, carnival parades.
An antithesis to the traditional village brass band: mobile big band, caravan of dilettantes with a touch of insanity: The open collective of up to 25 musicians can be seen on streets, in squares and on stage both in Austria and abroad since 2007. The repertoire, consisting largely of original compositions and cover versions arranged by band members, ranges from alternative rock, Balkan beat, klezmer, funk, jazz and reggae to all conceivable – and occasionally unlikely – crossovers of these genres. Being mobile and unplugged, we are an all-terrain band that loves to mingle with and engage the dancing crowd. The Masala Brass Kollektiv can be seen in concert, at parties, festivals, weddings, and have even appeared in film and television productions. This year, the collective is hosting the festival Skappa’nabanda! for the second time.
SOKO Dixie – the mobile, musical intervention force for all occasions! Mobile, spontaneous and flexible, this eccentric five-piece band’s repertoire moves between “Oh when the Saints”, “Marina” and “Mercy,Mercy, Mercy” – not always sanctioned by the jazz police, but with generous helpings of humour, and all of it unplugged! For festival deployments, the street band version (electric version also available!) featuring soprano saxophone, trombone, washboard, banjo, sousaphone and megaphone vocals is available.
The Street Noise Orchestra (SNO) has been the activist street band in and around Innsbruck since 2014. Believing that “everyone has the right to make some noise outdoors – we bring the groove to the streets”, they have made a name for themselves in the alternative and subculture scene. They play outdoors – at parties, rallies, demonstrations or events hosted by like-minded organisations – but most importantly, they play where you would not expect them. SNO are music for take-away when passing by, for dancing along, grooving with them or listening consciously. Watch and hear – their groove is rooted in jazz, Latin, blues, Balkan, Africa and anything in between; they turn every tune into their own SNO sound! By means of music, they reclaim public space!
Vento Sul is a passionate samba percussion group from Austria that has existed for more than twelve years in Graz and spread to Vienna two years ago. The Bloco, consisting of more than 20 percussionists and musicians, has participated in numerous national and international festivals, has organised events and workshops as well as intern summer tours (Austria, Croatia, Italy) and published a CD called “GEMEINSAM” (“TOGETHER”) in 2012.
Vento Sul's repertoire consists mainly of Afro-Brazilian rhythms, both traditionally and experimentally arranged, inspired by well-known, cultural Afro Blocos (such as Ilê Aiyê, Timbalada, Olodum, etc.) from Salvador/Bahia (BR). The musical projects are constantly evolving; regional musicians and other culturally committed groups, who influence and enrich Vento Sul's repertory and development, are frequently involved.
The Bloco Vento Sul has a characteristic style in expressing its Afro-Brazilian samba rhythms, with strong elements of funk and reggae as well as its own danceable compositions and infuses in its live performances with a rich and grounded sound.