Heavyweights Brass Band
In our modern world, what use do we have for mythology? Whether it be urban legend, ghost story, harmless superstition, or cultivating our own personal myths, our ancient love of legend and lore is certainly alive and well. The lost city of Atlantis, the mermaid of Dutch folklore, and the Aztec diety Quetzalcoatl are transformed into intriguing new works performed by Toronto superstars, The Heavyweights Brass Band. In a concert to bring jazz, classical, and pop audiences together, when the lines between fact and fiction become blurry, can music fill the gap?
Ensemble: The Heavyweights Brass Band
RJ Satchithananthan – Trombone
John Pittman – Trumpet
Paul Metcalfe -Saxophone
Tom Richards – Sousaphone
Lowell Whitty – drums
Afternoon Confusion by Graham Campbell
Atlantis by Tiffany Hanus
Brunhilda, Stuck in Rosstrappe by Mason Victoria
The Feathered Man by Jay Vazquez
Manipogo by Paul Metcalfe
Salty by Lieke van der Voort
About The Heavyweights
Whether receiving props from The Roots on Twitter, jamming with puppets on CBC Kids’ Mamma Yamma, recording with the legendary Giovanni Hidalgo or being championed by influential DJ and tastemaker Gilles Peterson, The Heavyweights Brass Band pack a one-two punch of crossover appeal and respect from music’s elite.
Inspired by the New Orleans brass band tradition, the Heavyweights’original stance keeps one foot firmly rooted in the rich legacy of jazz, while one foot steps forward into the future. Like the music’s originators, the Heavyweights are unafraid to incorporate influences from disparate areas of the musical spectrum, from pop hits of the day to original compositions, from R&B and funk throwbacks to the infectious rhythms of Latin America, all woven together with the thread of adventuresome sophistication.
The uppercut ascent of the Heavyweights’ arc has been the result of relentless dedication. Touring across Canada and sharing the stage with such influential groups as The Roots, Trombone Shorty, Galactic and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble has helped build the group a loyal following. Now with their sophomore release Brasstronomical, the Heavyweights are offering a unique sound with emphasis on their original compositions. They delve deeper and more eclectically into each musical direction implied on their first album. Brasstronomical reveals the band’s music is stronger, bolder, funkier and more mature than ever before.
About the music
In ancient times, a total solar eclipse would have been a startling surprise. The Chinese believed a dragon was eating the sun, and would bang pots and pans to scare it away. Afternoon Confusion by Graham Campbell depicts a normal day unexpectedly turned into night by a mythical creature.
Atlantis by Tiffany Hanus is inspired by the legend of the thriving city lost to the sea in a single night.
Brunhilda, Stuck in Rosstrappe by Mason Victoria: Rosstrappe is a mountain 403-metre-high (1,322 ft) granite crag in the Harz mountains of central Germany which has a mysterious ‘footprint’ in the shape of a giant horse embedded on the edge of the mountain. Legend speaks of a princess who makes a daring escape from her arranged marriage with an evil giant by running off the cliff with a mighty giant steed…
The Feathered Man by Jay Vazquez is a journey through the anatomy of a legend, specifically the Aztec legend Quetzalcoatl: a man that changes the path of a civilization (not without some chaos) with his wisdom.
Manipogo by Paul Metcalfe depicts an encounter with the mythical lake monster Manipogo, said to live in Lake Manitoba. It is an exploration of the adrenalin and excitement of finding such a creature and wondering when it will reveal itself again.
Salty by Lieke van der Voort is based on the Dutch folklore “The Mermaid of Westenschouwen.” After his partner’s gruesome death by the hands of the arrogant, cruel people of Westenschouwen, a merman curses the town, which falls into decay. This piece focuses on the inner turmoil of the merman’s delusional hope which turns to anger and eventually… revenge.