The brass ensemble has included a rotating line-up over the years, but has maintained a level of music that keeps them in the spotlight.
The group currently includes founding member Chuck Daellenbach on tuba, Christopher Coletti and Caleb Hudson on trumpets, Achilles Liarmakopoulos on trombone and Bernhard Scully on horn.
The album was released earlier this month as a prelude to a world tour that will wrap in February in Hawaii.
As a testament to their popularity, the group typically draws audiences that rival pop music stars. The New York Times said of the ensemble: “After 42 years, the Canadian quintet still makes music that soars.”
Canada Brass has been hailed as the “Kings of Brass” almost since its inception. What’s more, it’s been a major influence on the classical music scene.
The ensemble is not only known for its music, but also for its concert presentation. It has a uniquely engaging stage presence. They connect with audiences using formal classical presentation as well as lively dialogue and theatrical effects.
Musically, their concerts run the gamut from trademark Baroque and Dixieland to new compositions and arrangements.
Daellenbach and Gene Watts formed their first brass quintet in 1970. They made their American debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 1975. Since then, they’ve been Canada’s cultural ambassadors.
In 1977, the ensemble made history when it participated in a cultural exchange with China. They became the first Western musicians to play there following a ban on all Western music during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Canadian Brass also became the first chamber ensemble to solo the main stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City, two years later.
Marty Hackleman, a horn player with the group in the 1980s explained its style in a 1984 interview. “Chamber music can get tedious… There’s not that much variety and color. We add color and dynamics to what we’re doing with humorous numbers.”
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For more on the group, check out their Web site here.