Bonerama Bonerama

Even in a city that doesn’t play by the rules, New Orleans’ Bonerama is something different. They can evoke vintage funk, classic rock and free improvisation in the same set; maybe even the same song. Bonerama has been repeatedly recognized by Rolling Stone, hailed as “the ultimate in brass balls” (2005) and praised for their “crushing ensemble riffing, human-feedback shrieks and wah-wah growls” (2007). Bonerama carries the brass-band concept to places unknown; what other brass band could snag an honor for “Best Rock Band” (Big Easy Awards 2007)? As cofounder Mark Mullins puts it, “We thought we could expand what a New Orleans brass band could do. Bands like Dirty Dozen started the “anything goes” concept, bringing in the guitars and the drum kit and using the sousaphone like a bass guitar. We thought we could push things a little further.”

New Orleans’ fertile club scene was directly responsible for Bonerama getting together. Trombonists Mullins and Craig Klein were both members of Harry Connick’s band, where they’d been since 1990. Both were looking to supplement this gig with something a little less structured. “Harry sets the bar pretty high, and you have to play it the same way every night for everyone to follow.”

The big chance came in the summer of ’98, when Mullins had a weekly residency at Tipitina’s in the French Quarter. The club was then turning weekly slots over to some of the city’s favorite musicians, including Allen Toussaint and Cyril Neville; Mullins got charge of Wednesdays. Word got out one week that he and Klein were staging their trombone super-session and everybody they knew wanted to get involved. “It seemed that half the trombone players in town showed up,” Klein recalls. “At the end of the night we had them all onstage, maybe fifteen trombones at once. It sounded like a freight train; a big wall of sound coming right at you.”

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December 13, 2017

Jazz this week: Take 6, Tatsuya Nakatani, Bonerama, Xmas jazz around...

December 09, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Bonerama puts low brass on top

January 20, 2016

Jazz this week: Warren Wolf, Susan Alcorn & Frank Rosaly, Bonerama, and...

September 23, 2015

Jazz this week: "Jazz St. Louis at 20," "3 Nights in September,"...

January 15, 2015

Jazz this week: Stooges Brass Band, Jazz at Lincoln Center Group,...

January 23, 2014

Jazz This Week: Matt Wilson Quartet with John Medeski, Bonerama, Dave...

June 22, 2013

Jazz This Week: Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bonerama, "88 Squared," and More

June 20, 2013

Jazz This Week: Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bonerama, "88 Squared," Dave...

June 01, 2013

Bonerama to Play Sunday, June 23 at Broadway Oyster Bar

September 13, 2012

Jazz This Week: Bobby Broom and Deep Blue Organ Trio, Bonerama, Kirk...

July 31, 2012

Bonerama Returning to the Gramophone on Friday, September 14

February 09, 2012

Jazz This Week: Chucho Valdes, Robert Glasper,...

January 27, 2012

Mardi Gras Ball: Kermit Ruffins, Bonerama, Marco Benevento

December 28, 2011

Bonerama to Return to Old Rock House on Sunday, February 12

December 01, 2011

Jazz This Week: Ramsey Lewis, Jane Monheit, Tony Conrad, "The Music of...

October 06, 2011

Bonerama to Perform on Thursday, December 1 at the Old Rock House

July 29, 2011

Jazz This Week: Good 4 the Soul, Lowdown Brass Band, Bonerama, All That...

June 23, 2011

Bonerama to Play at the Sheldon on Sunday, July 31

January 20, 2011

Jazz This Week: Charlie Hunter, Bonerama, Bloom Project, Dave Black,...

December 31, 2010

Bonerama to Perform Wednesday, January 19 at the Gramophone


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