Formed in New Orleans in 1983, Grammy Award-winning jazz and funk nonet Rebirth Brass Band will echo their 2011 show at HumBrews with a Tuesday-night performance at the Arcata venue on March 25.
The bar for a follow-up has been set high as their latest record “Rebirth of New Orleans” won a 2012 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album. The Louisiana group is currently touring in promotion of a forthcoming, as of yet untitled LP planned for a late April release.
”The live experience on this particular tour has been guided by our upcoming CD because we've been performing a lot of new music that our audiences seem to really like,” said Keith Frazier, the band's bass drummer and one of its founding members. “The new LP has a little surprise for the listening audience. We included a female vocalist and a reggae tune with Trombone Shorty as the featured soloist.”
Frazier said the band's experience at the 2012 Grammy Awards (hosted by LL Cool J) was “unbelievable.”
”We were blown away by how nice all the major stars were -- they were really into checking out the up-and-coming bands such as ours,” he said.
The most nominated artists that year were Kanye West, Adele, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Skrillex, Lil Wayne and Radiohead.
After their big-award win at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the band embraced the opportunity to tour with another stellar act whose history is rooted deeply in funk -- the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
”We first met (Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist) Flea in New Orleans outside the Maple Leaf Bar,” Frazier said. “He was actually having dinner with Ivan Neville next door to the 'Leaf and he heard the music. He inquired about who we were and the rest is history.”
Other standout artists Frazier's group has joined on the road include the Grateful Dead and Ani DiFranco.
”One of the best experiences we all had with the 'Dead was meeting Jerry Garcia,” he said. “That guy was really laid-back and friendly. As for Ani, she had so many women at her show, I was like a baby in a toy store.”
In addition to their North Coast shows, Grammy fame and touring-partner recognition, the lively act has also joined the ranks of fellow Big Easy artists like Rebirth member Kermit Ruffins, Galactic and Trombone Shorty as musicians featured on the post-Hurricane-Katrina HBO series “Treme.”
”Filming 'Treme' was great because it exposed the culture of New Orleans to people who wouldn't normally check out our unknown local musicians and artists,” Frazier said. “We were happy to be a part of that.”
Some diehard fans of the band may also remember that in 2007 they contributed to the Vanguard Records release “Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino.”
Their cover of "Whole Lotta Lovin'" also included Trombone Shorty, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (known for his work with James Brown), trombonist Fred Wesley (known for his work with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic), saxophonist Maceo Parker (also known for his work with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic) and Lenny Kravitz.
”We have been doing a couple of Fats tunes since the band started, so to be asked to be a part of that project was really exciting,” Frazier said. “Rebirth and the James Brown horns is like a brass-band showdown.”
Very recently Rebirth did a NBA-affiliated collaboration with Aloe Blacc that aired on TNT during All-Star weekend in New Orleans.
”Rebirth is committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands while at the same time incorporating modern music into their show,” according to a news release. “Their signature brand of heavy funk has placed them among the world's top brass bands and they are the hands-down favorite among the younger generation.”
Known to combine their brassy sounds with hip-hop and soul, the group comprises Keith Frazier, his brother Phillip Frazier -- a tubist and fellow founding member, trumpeter Darek Shezbie, trumpeter Glen Andrews, trombonist Stafford Agee, trombonist Corey Henry, snare drummer Derrick Tabb, saxophonist Vincent Broussard and trumpeter Chaderick Honroe.
Advance passes for the Arcata show can be found online at humbrews.com.
”One of my best memories about playing in Humboldt County is playing at the university where students study the harvesting and cultivation of marijuana,” Keith Frazier said. “We got a lot a great tips and a better understanding of the plant. I would like to remind everyone to get ready for a party because ain't no party like a Rebirth party.”
If you go
What: Rebirth Brass Band
When: 9 p.m. March 25
Where: Humboldt Brews, 856 10th St., Arcata
Admission: $20, 21+