Tuba Love

After almost twenty years, New Orleans's Rebirth Brass Band is still irresistible

Nineteen years, eight albums, a globetrotting tour schedule, and gigs five nights a week have turned Rebirth into seasoned veterans and New Orleans's top marching band behind the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. They still do parades, funerals, and other events that take them to the streets, which is where they feel they belong and where their sound is best heard, or, rather, danced to.

You see, Rebirth is not exactly a party band; it's the party. And dancing is not obligatory; it's undeniable, as in "cannot be denied" -- unless you nail yourself to a chair, but even then.... And what's more, Rebirth has never met a crowd it didn't get dancing, which is something of a goal for these horn-blowers.

"Oh most definitely," Philip confirms with glee. "I like us to start playing for a stiff crowd when they think they're gonna just sit there. We hit 'em right in the heart with some hard music, and before you know it, at the end of the day they'll be like, ďThank you, thank you. I needed that all my life.'


8:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 2; General admission tickets cost $25; $20 for students and seniors. Call 305-237-3010.
The Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 NW 32nd St.

"We played this gig in New York at the Knitting Factory," he continues. "When we started playing, they used to have chairs in there. After we got through with the Knitting Factory, we ain't seen chairs in there no more."

For Philip Frazier the call to dance goes beyond mere notes and melodies. "It's because of the instrumentation," he explains. "'Cause you have the tuba, and you have the bass drum -- it's like a heartbeat. If you have a heartbeat in your body, or soul in your body, if you hear that music, it hits you. If it don't hit you, you must be dead."

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