Saturday, March 1, 2014

The American Brass Quintet

Today's focus will be on the American Brass Quintet.

Trumpet: Louis Hanzlik, Kevin Cobb (Previously Raymond Mase, pictured above)
Horn: Eric Reed (Previously David Wakefield, pictured above)
Trombone: Michael Powell
Bass Trombone: John Rojak

The ABQ is very important in the history of brass ensembles because it was founded on the idea that it will perform music originally written for brass.  Predating their first performance in 1960, brass chamber music was still a relatively new idea.  The concept of the 'brass quintet' had originated ten years earlier with groups like the Chicago and New York brass quintets.  When the American Brass Quintet was formed, the ensemble distinguished itself from these groups by using a bass trombone instead of the conventional tuba for brass quintet.

Today, the ABQ has accumulated dozens albums together and has performed all over the world.  Throughout it's 54 year history, the group has had many esteemed musicians come and go(see the 'family tree' below) but consistently remains an elite ensemble.

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