Canadian Brass 50th Anniversary Holiday Show
"Christmas Time is Here"
6:30pm doors • 7:30pm show
Having performed on five continents and sold over 2 million albums worldwide, internationally acclaimed quintet Canadian Brass come to National Sawdust for their annual holiday celebration.
Performing jubilant arrangements of beloved Christmas songs, Canadian Brass are sure to bring holiday cheer with this performance showcasing their virtuosity, spontaneity, and sense of fun. Along with Christmas classics, “the men who put brass music on the map” (Washington Post) bring their trademark mix of genres, from Baroque to Dixieland, creating a special Christmas celebration like no other.
Ring in the holiday season with “one of the most popular brass ensembles in the world” (Washington Post).
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 business. 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.
Masters of concert presentations, Canadian Brass has developed a uniquely engaging stage presence and rapport with audiences. Each of their concerts will show the full range from trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes to new compositions and arrangements created especially for them — from formal classical presentation to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects. The hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all, fun — but never at the expense of the music: whatever the style, the music is central and performed with utmost dedication, skill, and excellence.
With a discography of over 130 albums and an extensive worldwide touring schedule, Canadian Brass is an important pioneer in bringing brass music to mass audiences everywhere. They have sold well over 2 million albums worldwide, with 1.2 million sold in the Nielsen Soundscan era alone (since 1991). They continue to score Billboard chart positions — like with their rousing recording of patriotic songs and marches, Stars & Stripes: Canadian Brass Salute America, which spent 8 weeks in the Top 25 on the Billboard Classical Chart, peaking at #2! Touring legends with an enthusiastic fan base, the Canadian Brass play to packed houses everywhere throughout the USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe. They have also toured Australia, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, and South America. They were the first brass ensemble from the West to perform in the People’s Republic of China (where they returned for a 5-city tour to great acclaim in the spring of 2010 and several visits after this, including an appearance on Hunan TV for Chinese New Year) as well as the first brass group to take the main stage at the venerable Carnegie Hall. On numerous occasions Canadian Brass has been invited by the Canadian government to play for visiting heads of state, becoming one of Canada’s greatest resources and musical ambassadors.
Millions of television viewers have had Canadian Brass in their homes with appearances on The Tonight Show, Today, and Entertainment Tonight, and they recently played for more than half a billion viewers for Chinese New Year on China’s most popular station. They have appeared as guest artists on Evening at Pops with John Williams and the Boston Pops, Beverly Sills’ Music Around the World, numerous PBS specials, including a celebrated appearance on Sesame Street, and are frequent guests of many major symphony orchestras. Canadian Brass were the featured artists on the soundtrack to the 1988 film The Couch Trip, starring Dan Aykroyd and Walter Matthau.
The varied Canadian Brass repertoire features brass standards as well as a wide-ranging library of original arrangements. These include the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, classical works, marches, holiday favourites, 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 600 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 Christmas time 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.
Education plays a key role in the story of Canadian Brass and each member is uniquely attuned to training the next generation of players. On their travels around the world, they often pause for master classes, more than happy to work with students, young audiences, and professionals alike. Canadian Brass is currently engaged in short residencies at various educational institutions after having completed a four-year residency at the University of Toronto, having been Chamber Quintet-in-Residence for many years at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California prior to that, and having created an innovative brass summer course at the Eastman School of Music. Their support of education is also evident in their outreach and interaction with El Sistema, the acclaimed global music education program founded in Venezuela.
With four decades under their belts, Canadian Brass continues to thrill audiences around the world — and they don’t look like they are letting up anytime soon!
Canadian Brass is: founding member Chuck Daellenbach (tuba), Christopher Coletti and Caleb Hudson (trumpets), Achilles Liarmakopoulos (trombone), and Jeff Nelsen (horn). Canadian Brass is represented by IMG Artists in New York.