Funky Butt Brass Band kicks off 2014 Jazz and Blues Festival

Audience members listen to 442s with special guest Erin Bode Saturday afternoon at Webster’s annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Nine other bands, including WGHS’s Jazz I, entertained an estimated 14,000 spectators.

Audience members listen to 442s with special guest Erin Bode Saturday afternoon at Webster’s annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Nine other bands, including WGHS’s Jazz I, entertained an estimated 14,000 spectators.

Alex Ring
Business Manager

Opening this year’s Jazz and Blues Festival in Old Webster, The Funky Butt Brass Band debuted “originals and songs from the newest recording session” in its fifth festival appearance.

The band played on the Webster University stage on Sept. 20, at noon.

The New Orleans style brass band has six members, Matt Brinkmann (sousaphone), Adam Hucke (trumpet, vocals), Aaron Chandler (trombone, vocals), Tim Halpin (guitar, vocals), Ben Reece (sax, vocals) and Ron Sikes (drums).

The Funky Butt Brass Band is made of up of musicians skilled in the art of traditional New Orleans Jazz as well as other influences. Tim Halpin described their sound as having influences from “Motown, Chicago blues, hip hop and 70s funk.”

Funky Butt Brass Band members Ben Reece, Adam Hucke, Matt Brinkmann, Ron Sikes, Tim Halpin and Aaron Chandler opened this year’s Jazz and Blues Festival on Sept. 20.

Funky Butt Brass Band members Ben Reece, Adam Hucke, Matt Brinkmann, Ron Sikes, Tim Halpin and Aaron Chandler opened this year’s Jazz and Blues Festival on Sept. 20. (Photo from the Funky Butt Brass Band)

The current six members first came together when a few of the guys subbed in for a band called “Gumbohead.” The players met between connections from prior gigs and school. During that time they played some gigs and then decided to start another band, which later played alongside Gumbohead, and they called themselves Funky Butt Brass Band.

With influences coming from Rebirth Brass Band and Dirty Dozen Brass Band, both pretty mild names, why did they decide to go on a limb and call themselves “Funky Butt Brass Band?”

Chandler explained in the early 1900s, a theater and Jazz club called The Funky Butt was located in New Orleans. When the band heard about this, it decided to try it out, and the name stuck.

In 2008 the Funky Butt Brass Band officially started under its new name and soon played one of their first gigs at the Webster Groves and Blues Jazz Festival, which Hucke described as “a big night for us.”

Chandler said the band always enjoy playing in Webster because “the people are very welcoming and appreciative, which provides a fun atmosphere.” The band said it enjoys festivals because the sets are normally shorter and because the crowds are easy going and have good energy.



Categories: Features

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