Playlist: The eight members of Brassville put cultivating a collective vibe ahead of ego

Brassville is made up of eight musicians with eight different personalities, each of them connected to TSU’s storied marching unit the Aristocrat of Bands as either educators or alumni. What they share in common is a willingness to let their egos, but not their work ethic, be subsumed by their convivial dedication to being a band and their knowledge of the landscape they’re working.

As their playlist picks reflect, the guys—Larry Jenkins, Jonathon Neal, Nate McDowell, Derrick Green, Rashad Sylvester, Marcus Chandler, MarVelous Brown and Adrian Pollard—are true music heads, discerning devotees of how Black consciousness and excellence have thrived at the intersections of jazz, neo-soul, hip-hop and funk, where sophisticated vocal stylists, instrumentalists and lyricists find common ground in supple feel and satisfying improvisation. Their selection of tracks by Brian Brown, VibeOut. band member Sylvester and other Nashvillians shows that they see themselves extending a lineage that’s long thrived in their city, in the shadow of Music City’s more zealously marketed musical exports, and is just beginning to command the attention it deserves.

McDowell, who plays tuba in the band, sent this reflection to accompany Brassville’s playlist: “Each song is a microcosm of what Brassville seeks to grant the audience each time they touch the stage. The list represents the individual qualities each member possesses that make them masters in their art forms. It equally represents the humility that is necessary to keep egos at bay. It’s a combination of individuality and unselfishness that ultimately results in a band that cannot be broken.”