Heavyweights Brass Band - Summer Jazz Festivals & Fall CD Launch

From a media release:


The Heavyweights Brass Band
Summer 2011 Jazz Festivals & Debut CD Release at Harbourfront
Metro Square, The Beaches, Harbourfront & more!
See below for the “blow by blow”

TORONTO – Young and oh-so-talented Toronto collective THE HEAVYWEIGHTS BRASS BAND will come out swinging at this summer’s jazz festivals, culminating in a bare-knuckle knockout of a debut CD release concert at Toronto’s Harbourfront main stage Friday, Sept 2nd.

Not since 1980s band The Shuffle Demons has there been such a fresh and fun take on jazz. Not your standard jazz fare, The Heavyweights Brass Band repertoire delivers a special brand of popular and diverse music with a punch and an enthusiasm that makes jazz accessible for everyone from eight to 80.

The gloves are off when it comes to their choice and interpretation of songs. They range from funk, soul, R&B, and traditional New Orleans jazz – complete with tuba – to tasteful retro throwbacks (including War and Michael Jackson) to artistes du jour Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Add some Latin/world music influences and outstanding original compositions and you have an incredibly unique, energetic mix that never fails to get folks moving and shaking. Heavyweights trombonist Chris Butcher likes to quote the legendary Art Blakey, saying “Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.”

The twenty-something professional musicians banded together in 2009. Since then the current configuration – which consists of Chris Butcher (trombone), Paul Metcalfe (saxophones), Jon Challoner (trumpet), Rob Teehan (sousaphone) and Lowell Whitty (drums) – of the sometimes parading/marching band has gained a strong following. With collective experience as sidemen in almost every facet of Toronto's very diverse music scene, the band members are well on their way to stellar careers and have already earned individual national recognition, including a Western Canadian Music Award, a Galaxie Rising Star Award, and a JUNO award.

Besides being featured on the cover of Toronto’s WholeNote magazine this month, the band will be very visible this summer at some of the most prestigious festivals around, including Toronto’s TD Jazz (Canada Day) and Beaches fests. They have also been hard at work recording their debut album at CBC’s studio 211. With engineer Dennis Patterson (Mariah Carey, Deborah Cox) at the helm, and mixes by the great John “Beetle” Bailey (Molly Johnson, Harry Manx) at “The Drive Shed” studio, the 13-track Don’t Bring Me Down is near completion. This much-anticipated album includes Cuban sonero/rapper Ogguere and soul/rock vocal powerhouse Saidah Baba Talibah, and is set to be released at a high-profile concert on Harbourfront’s main stage Friday, Sept 2nd.

photos by Diana Piruzevska

June 29  @ 8 pm – Toronto, ON (From New Orleans - funk/jazz pioneers “GALACTIC” – Lee’s Palace)
July 1 @ 12 pm (noon)  – Toronto, ON (TD Jazz Fest – Metro Square)
July 3 @ 9:30 pm – Toronto, ON (TD Jazz Fest –CD COMPLETION PARTY! - The Rex Hotel, 194 Queen St. W.)
July 17 @ 4 pm – Toronto, ON (Beaches Jazz Festival - New Generations Stage)
Aug 12-14 @ TBA – Brampton, ON (Art of Jazz Fest)
Aug 20 @ TBA – Toronto, ON (Havana Cultura w/ Cuban rapper Ogguere)
Sept 2  @ 9:00 pm – Toronto, ON (CD RELEASE CONCERT!!– Harbourfront Mainstage)