Born: December 5, 1941 Primary Instrument: Piano
Amy Duncan is an American pianist, composer and arranger originally from New York, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She originally put her band, Brass Tacks, together in New York in 1984, where they played in various venues around the city for a number of years. Brass Tacks.is a 10-piece jazz ensemble consisting of two trumpets, two trombones, two euphoniums, a tuba, acoustic bass, piano and drums. They play only original music and arrangements by Amy, which could be described as based in jazz, but taking off in a number of different directions, including samba, bossa nova, funk, salsa, Middle Eastern and African. In 1999, Amy moved to Rio de Janeiro and reformed the band with Brazilian musicians. They recorded a CD, My Joy, in 2002.
Duncan has recently released her autobiography. Information about it can be found here: http://finallygettingdowntobrasstacks.wordpress.com/the-book/
The band is daring in its repertoire, playing all original tunes written and arranged by Ms. Duncan. It's so difficult to hold an audience's attention with the program made up totally of unfamiliar tunes that most leaders don't take the risk. Duncan does - and succeeds. Leslie Gourse - The Christian Science Monitor
Duncan is primarily a pianist and composer who has concentrated on writing for brass players and finding good ones to play her glimmering, robust music. Gary Giddens - The Village Voice
'Out of the Blues' .... took its cue. from a lively commissioned score by Amy Duncan that was smashingly performed onstage by Miss Duncan and the band she directs, Brass Tacks. Anna Kisselgoff - The New York Times, in a review of Jazzdance at the Joyce Theater
Duncan, a small woman whose hands can barely stretch an octave ... is a cooking, inventive pianist. Leonard Feather - Jazz Times
The Brass Tacks recording, with ten compositions and arrangements by its leader, is one of the most pleasant surprises to appear in Brazil in the area of jazz during recent years. Luiz Orlando Carneiro - Jornal do Brasil