The Story

Brandishing a powerful frontline consisting of trumpeters Shane Jonas and Sam Johnson, trombonists Andrew Zelm and Matt Davis, baritone saxophonist David Levine, and anchored by the funky backline of sousaphone ace Lance Loiselle and drummer John Barbush, the LowDown Brass Band delivers infectious grooves infused with tinges of hip-hop, ska, dubstep and metal, defying expectations for a brass band. The group’s secret weapon, emcee Billa Camp, brings facile, rapid-fire, thought-provoking raps to the proceedings, setting this group apart from the myriad brass bands on the scene today. As the Chicago Sun Times wrote: “Not exactly Slipknot, but not exactly John Philip Sousa either. What it is, exactly, is awesome!"

Known for their blood-pumping performances, the LDB has thrilled audiences at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Summerfest in Milwaukee and at Chicago clubs like Schuba’s, House of Blues and Cubby Bear. Their debut performance at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival finds them still riding high on the success of 2018’s LowDown Breaks.

The Sound

Expect to hear the LDB unleash its high-energy style on tunes from their 2015 album LowDown Sounds, including their version of Roy Ayers’ R&B classic “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” along with newer tunes from LowDown Breaks, including the reggae flavored “We Just Want to Be,” the funky James Brown-inspired “Hold Up We Dem Boyz,” the clave-fueled “Ranura de la Noche and a remake of The Specials’ 1981 hit, “Ghost Town.” Picture the Dirty Dozen Brass Band jamming with Tower of Power and The Specials at Chance The Rapper’s House and you’re getting close to where this Chicago crew is coming from.

Where & When: Cape May Brewing Company Stage in Cabanas, Saturday + Sunday

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Michael Kline