15-Piece Version of Heavyweights Brass Band Led by Christopher Butcher-Trombone
Jon Challoner – Trumpet
Paul Metcalfe — Saxophones
Christopher Butcher — Trombone
Jay Burr — Tuba
Lowell Whitty — Drums
With tracks from their debut album ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ already receiving airplay on CBC Radio and Jazz FM 91.1, The Heavyweights Brass Band is poised for a breakout year. After recently opening for New Orleans legends Galactic and local Brazilian songstress Aline Morales, the Toronto quintet (four horns plus a drummer) thrilled a hometown audience in its debut performance at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on Canada Day, and looks forward to a busy summer of featured performances at the Beaches Jazz Fest, Brampton Art of Jazz Festival, and Toronto’s Havana Cultura Festival, culminating in an official CD Release concert on the WestJet Stage at Harbourfront Centre on September 2nd.
Independently produced and released, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ carries the band’s signature mix of classic soul/funk covers, New Orleans standards, original modern jazz compositions, and outrageous arrangements of top 40 pop tunes – a winning combination that never fails to get an audience on its feet. Also featured on the record are collaborations with two highly respected Toronto artists: grammy-nominated Cuban rapper Ogguere, and soul/rock vocal powerhouse Saidah Baba Talibah.
The individual members of the band, with collective experience as sidemen in almost every facet of Toronto’s very diverse music scene, are well on their way to stellar careers and have already earned national recognition, including a Western Canadian Music Award, a Galaxie Rising Star Award, and a JUNO nomination. Sharing a love for New Orleans-inspired jazz, they formed the Heavyweights Brass Band in 2009 to bring their fresh, modern take on this joyful music to a worldwide audience. Since their debut they have gained a strong following in Toronto, playing regularly to packed houses at the Gladstone Hotel, the Painted Lady, and world-famous jazz venue The Rex Hotel, as well as raucous post-concert parties for visiting New Orleans legends Nicholas Payton, Allen Toussaint and Gregg Stafford.
“I got to see some musical fun this week when I ventured out to The Painted Lady at Dundas and Ossington to catch the Heavyweights Brass Band… the Heavyweights’ repertoire ranges from New Orleans classics such as St. Louis Blues to hip arrangements of Justin Bieber (yes, that Justin Bieber) and Lady Gaga (yes, that Lady Gaga). Now, I likes me a good brass band…and the Heavyweights did not disappoint. Not only did they sound great, they looked like they were having a blast on stage. And as an audience member, it was hard to sit still and hard not to be engaged by the party vibe.”- Josh Grossman Artistic Director Toronto Downtown Jazz