The Heavyweights Brass Band
Today (2015 June 23) on The Works stage in Churchill Square, Edmonton was a band that blew me away – The Heavyweights Brass Band.They are a Toronto-based, New Orleans influenced group. Being a trumpet player myself I have passion for brass instruments in general and trumpets in particular. This band features TWO excellent trumpets as well as a trombone and sousaphone and sax and drums – what a powerful sound!
John Pittman and Jonathon Challoner on trumpets
Some may wonder why there would be two trumpets in a sextet but there was more than enough work to keep the two of them busy. Each took a turn with some impressive solo work and when they teamed up it was great.
Also very impressive was saxophonist Paul Metcalfe.
Metcalfe was a passionate performer and the composer of a number of the band’s original pieces. The original pieces were good as were their versions of traditional jazz pieces (St. James Imaginary Blues was great) and some unexpected jazzifying of rock/pop tunes including Rush’s YYZ and Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
Christopher Butcher, trombone
Butcher, who lived in Sherwood Park for a number of years, was the band’s leader on stage.
Rob Teehan, Sousaphone
Lowell Whitty on drums
It was a very enjoyable show and although I had intended to just be there for the first set, I just had to extend my lunch hour and stay around for the second set. I also had to buy one of their CD’s – their latest Brasstronomical.
This performance in Edmonton was just one stop in their cross-country tour this summer. I doubt that I’ll get a chance to see them again soon but I will definitely look for a future opportunity.