Hot 8 Brass Band
The New Orleans-based Hot 8 Brass Band draw on the traditional jazz heritage of their hometown, alongside more modern styles, including elements of funk, hip hop, rap, and its local variation, “bounce.” The collective earned a win in the 64th Annual Grammy Awards 2022 for their feature on John Batiste’s ‘Album of The Year', following the nomination of ‘The Life & Times Of…’ for ‘Best Regional Roots Album’ in 2013.
Transcending genres and trends, Hot 8 have performed and collaborated with the likes of Jon Batiste, Blind Boys of Alabama, Basement Jaxx and Alice Russell, and provided live support for Mos Def, Lauryn Hill and Mary J Blige. Since forming they have established a decade-long affiliation with actor/BBC 6Music DJ Craig Charles, among other tastemakers, DJs and journalists worldwide. After a festive appearance Live at Maida Vale for Lauren Laverne (BBC 6 Music), the Hot 8 Brass Band performed for Jools Holland's annual Hootenanny on BBC Two to welcome in 2019. Later that year, after taking to the stage at the BRIT awards in February, Hot 8 Brass Band were invited on the European leg of George Ezra’s tour.
With multiple sell-out shows at London’s Roundhouse and Brighton’s Dome, Hot 8 continues to share their acclaimed releases. Albums such as 'Vicennial...', 'On The Spot' and 'Take Cover', are brought to the stage, honoring their city’s musical traditions, while forging their own powerful legacy. Mixing an old-school street brass approach with funkier currents and hip hop vocals, Hot 8’s magnificent originals are juxtaposed with fresh versions of Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, The Specials and of course their anthemic take on Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”. The recent passing of Bennie Pete, the beloved co-founder and sousaphone player for the outfit, will be honoured in true New Orleans fashion with ‘The Bossman Tour 2023’, paying tribute to his “galvanizing force” as a “leader, teacher and mentor”. Fellow bandmates add that “Bennie was an inspiration to [the] band and to many other musicians, and the entire musical and cultural community.”
The dates will celebrate the late Bennie’s “greatest wish.. that New Orleans culture lives on for future generations”. This parade follows the success of the Mardi Gras 2020 and 'Take Cover' 2019 tours.
Across three albums - 2007’s ‘Rock With The Hot 8’, 2012’s Grammy-nominated ‘The Life & Times Of…’ and 2013’s ‘Tombstone’ – with a host of standout singles, including their iconic version of “Sexual Healing” alongside several other covers and equally impressive originals, Hot 8 Brass Band have told the story of their lives and their city like only they can.
One of the great New Orleans acts, Hot 8 have pushed on through a barely imaginable series of trials. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the separate deaths of four of their band members (trumpeter Jacob Johnson, drummer Dinerral Shavers, and trombonists Demond Dorsey and Joseph “Shotgun Joe” Williams) and the horror of trumpeter Terrell “Burger” Batiste losing his legs in a car crash, conspired to test these men almost to breaking point. They honour their fallen friends and help to work towards the future of their community by putting their energies into positive projects at home as well as touring as much as they can. They march together and they play their music - a rambunctious yet elegant and super-tight mix of jazz, funk and hip hop – not merely as though, but because their lives depend on it.
Transcending genres and trends, Hot 8’s party rocking sound and indomitable energy have become renowned across the world, with an ever-growing fanbase and media love across the spectrum from The Guardian and The Sunday Times Magazine to Esquire, BBC Radio 2 to 1Xtra, and beyond. The band and their story featured in Spike Lee’s New Orleans documentaries When The Levee Broke and The Creek Don’t Rise, as well as David Simon’s hit HBO series Treme, and they have performed with artists as diverse as The Dixie Cups, Blind Boys of Alabama, Lauryn Hill and Mos Def. One of a very few brass bands who pour as much charisma, training and talent into their vocals as their horn playing, their sound packs an almighty connective power that remains uniquely Hot 8 no matter what influences they draw on.