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L.A. Beat

Heavyweights Brass Band jazzes up popular hits and much more

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Toronto based the Heavyweights Brass Band adds their own jazzy twist to popular hits.
 They play the Slice, June 27.

“ With jazz music it is not so much the tune as it is about the arrangement,” observed tombonist Chris Butcher. While they write their own compositions, they are known for reworking contemporary pop hits like Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” plus older material like “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” by War.
“ With C-Jam blues, there isn’t much to the tuThe Heavyweights BRass Band play Lethbridge, June 27. Photo by Diana Piruzevskane,  it’s the arrangements of the tune,” he emphasized.

 They have recently released their debut CD “ Don’t Bring Me Down,” in 2011 which is a mix of reworked covers and originals.

 He observed the band members (trumpet player Jon Challoner, saxophonist Paul Metcalfe, sousaphone player Rob Teehan and drummer Lowell Whitty) not only come from all over the country from Vancouver to Toronto, but also bring a variety of influences into the band from pop music to New Orleans jazz.

 And while redoing Justin Bieber songs runs the risk of having your band pegged as a novelty act, Butcher said they are not worried about it.
“Well, it does a little. But jazz music has a long history of rearranging popular hits of the day,” he observed.
 They have been enjoying their first tour out west together, though several of them have western roots as Butcher is from Winnipeg while trumpeter Jon Challoner  is from Vancouver Island originally.


They are enjoying the tour, playing a couple of jazz festivals on their way out west and opened for Trombone Shorty at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival this week.
 They are looking forward to  their Lethbridge show.

 “It is going to be a great show,” he said adding it will combine reworked covers and original music.
 There will be a five dollar cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m., June 27 at the Slice.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 June 2015 23:03 )  
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