For nearly 25 years Manhattan Brass has been known for its innovative programming, dynamic performances, varied, eye-opening repertoire, and commitment to educating audiences of all ages about live music and the brass idiom. Hailed as a Critic’s Pick in Time Out New York magazine, the ensemble is an amalgam of individual virtuoso musicians, each bringing to the table their unique experience and vision. Comfortable in every genre from Gesualdo to jazz, the quintet is intent on taking brass ensemble playing to another level and bringing their audience with them.
Throughout its history the quintet has commissioned, premiered and recorded the works of a wide range of composers, including jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Paquito D’ Rivera.
Their CD releases have received rave reviews; for ‘Manhattan Holiday’ (2013) JazzTimes states “Manhattan Holiday is a holiday CD with astounding virtuosity and wonderful purity of tone that elevates the Holiday repertoire with creative arrangements to a level that is a joy to the musical senses. Manhattan Brass has the ability to inspire a passion for Holiday music that is more than just filler music, but it is truly high artistry.” This latest recording from the quintet is a compilation of both classic and curious holiday treats, all arranged by two of the most creative artists working in music today; Carla Bley & Jack Walrath.
MB’s previous recording, ‘New York Now’, is a landmark recording, their second of all NY-affiliated composers (and Americans) with MB commissions by Wynton Marsalis and Daniel Schnyder’s EUPHORIA -- an over-the- top jazz/world/classical tone poem, written for the group with Schnyder on soprano sax. Other composers include the premiere recording of Paquito D’Rivera’s brass quintet (Four Songs) and a total redux of Bernstein’s classic ‘West Side Story’. About the recording, Paquito D’Rivera states: “The Manhattan Brass has the right timing and sense of rhythm to give to these four pieces of mine the ideal feeling and balance. I was so happy when my old friend Lew Soloff called home to tell me they were recording my compositions.”
In 2004 legendary trumpeter Lew Soloff and virtuoso bass trombonist David Taylor joined the ensemble (then called the Manhattan Brass Quintet), providing a new and vital drive and sense of direction. Soloff and Taylor brought a wealth of experience making music with a number of influential musicians ranging from Duke Ellington to Stokowski and back to Gil Evans and Blood, Sweat & Tears. In recognition of this boost in versatility and fresh thinking, the ensemble modified its name to the Manhattan Brass and broadened its repertoire. Time Out NY proclaimed: “The Manhattan Brass has long brought a spontaneous flash to contemporary classical music; now, with new trumpeter Lew Soloff, the group’s sound has never been jazzier.”
The Manhattan Brass places an emphasis on breaking down barriers between performers and audiences -- the ensemble performs in venues ranging from concert halls to clubs, has been featured on National Public Radio’s ‘Performance Today’, as well as featured in recital on Japanese network NHK-TV, NY’s Caramoor & FONT Festivals, under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and numerous others.
Manhattan Brass is comprised of Wayne du Maine & Tony Kadleck, trumpets -- R.J. Kelley, horn -- Michael Seltzer, trombone & David Taylor, bass trombone.