Biography

Occasional Brass was started in June 2001 by two UMass Amherst alumni and former members of a popular funk band called Rippopotamus. DB (aka Bryan) and Russell had played across the country and opened for acts such as Queen Latifah, Phish, Fishbone, and the Beastie Boys. But one of Russell's co-workers was getting married, and Russell happened to have a book of quintet music from college. From there, they had a few rehearsals, bought a bunch of music, and the Occasional Brass Quintet was born. Wanting to keep a good balance between their classical training at UMass and their love of all things funk/rock, they set out to create something that transcended traditional brass quintets. Above all, they would have fun. And by proxy, so would anyone that listened to them. In late 2006, Bryan decided to expand the offering by adding strings and woodwinds, and changed the name to Occasional Brass & Strings. Today we have an award winning array of musicians in and around Boston, Newport, Providence, Worcester, Hartford, even New Hampshire and Maine! Because we use local musicians, there are very rarely any travel fees. We have transformed into a variable ensemble, as we now have music for duo, trio, quartet, and quintet. We are still having a good time, and hope to continue the trend far into the future. We look for musicians that have a love of good music, balanced with a need to get funky once in a while.

Artist Statement

With over 150 musicians, Occasional Brass & Strings' ensembles provide the perfect accompaniment for weddings, receptions, cocktail parties, corporate events, religious services, graduations, and more. Need a custom ensemble? We can provide a soloist, duo, trio, quartet, or quintet with just about any combination of trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, violin, viola, cello, piano, flute, harp, sax...the possibilities are endless.

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