This January, our Nashville AOTM is Brassville, an eight-piece outfit that breaks from the traditional brass band mold with its broad repertoire of hip-hop, jazz, neo-soul and rhythmic pop and a muscular rhythm section that combines tuba with electric bass, keyboards and drum kit. The group has its roots in TSU’s marching Aristocrat of Bands, and easily stood out from the moment the guys started performing together in 2019: they were the only musicians who lugged their horns downtown to busk for the tourists who flocked here for the NFL draft. The camaraderie, serious musicianship and suave, crowd-pleasing style of Brassville caught on quickly after that, through collaborations with rappers, singers and instrumentalists, cultural events and club residencies. The members contributed horn samples to a producer pack created by hip-hop legend Ski Beatz that’s used all over the world, but they’ve really carved out a space as a band that bridges scenes in their city, repping for the past and present of Black musical excellence.
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