Livening Up the Streets of Gallery Place
(WASHINGTON) — The Metropolitan area showcases extravagant operas, orchestras and concerts at some of the finest venues in the nation. However, some of the most impressive performances occur outside.
Brass Connection, a brass band hailing from Charlotte, N.C., brings live music to the corner of 7th and F Streets N.W., just outside the Verizon Center. As metro riders and tourists hustle along, filling the sidewalks, Brass Connection blows their horns and beats their drums to the familiar sound of Gogo, Oldies and current R&B music.
Brass Connection Manager Bill Jones described the band’s sound as “feel good music.”
“D.C. likes Gogo, so we play a few Gogo tunes. And we got old school music too. So we just try to relate to everyone. And everyone seems to enjoy it, so we play what we know and what people like. Just try to appeal to the public,” says Jones.
Brass Connection has been playing together throughout North Carolina for three years, but started playing in D.C. in July after performing in a parade.
“Ever since then, D.C. has showed us a lot of love, lot of support … they welcome us really good,” says Jones.
Playing outside during D.C.’s humid summers and frigid winters can be a challenge but Jones says the crowd’s reaction makes up for it.
“The way it makes the crowd feel good makes us feel good, too. It takes a lot, but we enjoy seeing the people react to us. They have a lot of smiles on their face.”
The band of nine family members, ages 12 to 52, gets their distinct sound from their bass instruments — trombone, baritone, tuba, sousaphone and drums. Jones says the same instruments that create the band’s unique sound also creates a connection between its members.
“We’re all family, but we’re also all brass players so we’re connected by brass.”