Dirty Catfish Brass Band in action (Todd Martin)
"They are literally moved by the music! Swaying hips, tapping toes, hand clapping, loud yelling, whistling, sweating, smiling."
—Todd Martin, mellophone player in the Dirty Catfish Brass Band
There's a new group on the Winnipeg block. It's called The Dirty Catfish Brass Band and it's bringing the sounds of the bayou up north!
In the grand tradition of brass bands from New Orleans, The Dirty Catfish Brass Band excites audiences and since their instruments are somewhat portable the musicians can go almost anywhere you want them to. In New Orleans, brass bands traditionally play in funeral processions as well as happy occasions.
SCENE asked the band's leader Todd Martin a few questions about this nine piece group.
Besides the brass, what makes a brass band so special?
The rhythm is very infectious (in a good way), as well as the free for all improvised nature of the music.
Now the tradition of brass bands goes way back to the 1800's in New Orleans and elsewhere, what's the tradition of the Dirty Catfish Brass Band?
The Dirty Catfish Brass Band is a direct result of the great brass bands of New Orleans, namely The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Rebirth Brass Band, The Hot Eight Brass, as well as New Orleans music in general. That's where our inspiration came from.
What was your most unusual gig so far?
We haven't had a crazy unusual gig so far, and we haven't played for a funeral either. Our best show so far is definitely this year's performance at Festival du Voyageur. We rocked out the Cabane a Sucre!
How does your audience react to the band?
They are literally moved by the music! Swaying hips, tapping toes, hand clapping, loud yelling, whistling, sweating, smiling: all of these things have happened to our audiences and that's OK.
How do you pick your repertoire?
The rep is decided by the band members, and basically if we hear something we like, we play it, from Michael Jackson to Louis Armstrong.
With all of those brass players, what do the members do about all the excess saliva from the instruments?
Well, the saliva when pushed through a brass instrument, actually turns into musical juice. So it's not really a problem. It's totally organic.
Your band logo shows a catfish growing out of a saxophone, that's a woodwind instrument. What's that about?
As for the saxes, they are definitely a huge part of the "brass" band tradition. All of the great bands have a tenor, or baritone sax, or both as our band does.
The Dirty Catfish Brass Band is:
Noah Jacobsen on Drums, Julian Bradford on Bass, Chuck MacClelland on Baritone Sax, Stepehn Oberheu onTuba, Kyle Wedlake on Tenor Sax, Andrew Littleford on Trumpet, Phil Collins on Trumpet, Todd Martin on Mellophone and Aaron Chodirker on Keyboards.
You can hear The Dirty Catfish Brass Band at The Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club Feb. 23 from 9:30 PM. - 1:00 AM, and The King's Head Pub Feb 24 from 10:00 PM - 1:30 AM.