Canadian Brass

Five tremendous brass musicians--each a virtuoso in his own right--form the legendary Canadian Brass. With an international reputation as one of the most popular brass ensembles today, Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction of “the world’s most famous brass group.”

Friends Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts first came together in 1970 to form a brass quintet--a chamber music setting not entirely new, but never before having garnered the success and storied career Canadian Brass would achieve over the next 40 years. Initially, Gene took on the role of developing new repertoire while Chuck was the moving force in marketing, publishing and managing the group. Three empty chairs were quickly filled and together, the group’s imagination and consummate musicianship elevated the art of the brass quintet to what it is today. Here was not only an opportunity to explore the possibilities of an all-brass chamber group but a challenge to bring the sound and the excitement of brass music to new audiences.

The varied Canadian Brass repertoire features brass standards as well as a wide-ranging library of original arrangements created especially for them. These include the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, Classical works, marches, holiday favorites, ragtime, Dixieland, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway and Christian music as well as popular songs and standards. Having started with a very limited base, Canadian Brass has created their own musical world by transcribing, arranging and commissioning more than 200 works, including critically acclaimed compositions from Michael Kamen, Luther Henderson, Bramwell Tovey, Don Gillis and more. They have transformed a previously neglected group of instruments with a limited repertoire into a versatile and vital ensemble that can play everything from Gabrieli to Gershwin! Canadian Brass is especially noted for their famous Holiday Concerts at Christmastime and was at the forefront of re-establishing Scott Joplin with today’s audiences through their research, arrangements and recordings of his “rags” and other works.

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“These are the men who put brass music on the map: with their unbeatable blend of virtuosity, spontaneity and humor, they brighten the rosters of concert halls, international festivals and orchestra series throughout the world. Their numerous recordings, frequent television appearances and tireless efforts in the realm of music education have resulted in vast new audiences for the art of the Canadian Brass.”

--Washington Post

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