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‘Funky Butt’ brings jazz to St. Louis

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With a name like the Funky Butt Brass Band (FBBB), you know you’re in for an interesting evening.

On March 22, the group performed at Jazz at the Bistro, located across from the Fox Theatre.

Founded in 2008, this St. Louis band of six musicians aims to keep the traditional music of New Orleans alive and well.

The FBBB fuses the sounds of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Tower of Power, the James Brown Horns, the Rebirth Brass Band and more.They bring together various styles of music such as Motown, Southern rock, Memphis soul, Chicago blues and St. Louis R&B.

The six band members are Matt Brinkmann, Adam Hucke, Ron Sikes, Aaron Chandler, Tim Halpin and Ben Reece.They create music using the saxophone, guitar, trombone, sousaphone, drums and trumpet and their own vocals. It makes for loud, bold sounds that fit together nicely.

The FBBB released its debut CD, “Cut the Body Loose” in 2009. In 2011 they released their second CD, “You Can Trust the Funky Butt Band.”

According to their website, “both discs capture a wide variety of music and playful spirit the band brings to every live performance.”

Playful and lively aptly describes their performance at Jazz at the Bistro, a renowned landmark where patrons can enjoy excellent food and great music.Characteristic to the harmonious nature of jazz, the Funky Butt Brass Band beautifully synthesizes a wide range of sounds together.

During the event, they sang famous songs, such as “At the Foot of Canal Street” by John Boutte and “St. James Infirmary” by Danny Barker.A few of their own pieces included “A Certain Girl,” “St. Louis Breakdown” and “Southern Broadway Stumble.”

The FBBB is all you could expect out of a great jazz band. The name not only attracts intrigue, but also lends them a laid back nature, a band that wants to have fun. Chandler, trombonist and vocalist, says that their music is “southern comfort at its finest.”

Jazz at the Bistro was the perfect venue for their performance. Listeners of all age could relax in a cozy, dimly-lit, and beautifully decorated room that’s reminiscent of older times. Jazz at the Bistro is the perfect blend of formal and comfortable, which makes for an amazing experience.

The food was scrumptious, the music loud and clear, and people even felt free to snap their fingers and clap once in a while.
Music at Jazz at the Bistro is “the way jazz is meant to be experienced,” according to their website.For the third straight year, the Funky Butt Brass Band has been named Best Funk/Soul Band at the Riverfront Times Music Awards.

Festivals they’ve played at include the Roots N Blues N BBQ, Blissfest, Taste of St. Louis, Gumbo Ya Ya and the Big Muddy Blues Festival. They have performed alongside Louisiana artists such as Dr. John, Rebirth Brass Band, Bonerama, Chubby Carrier and Big Sam’s Funky Nation.

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