Banda de Los Muertos

with Mariachi Flor de Toloache & Special Guests
Friday, September 18
Tickets: Advance $12.50, Door $15 Click here to purchase tickets

For the past twenty years, Brooklyn residents Oscar Noriega and Jacob Garchik have kept busy in the jazz and classical world – but a few years back, both Oscar and Jacob came to be obsessed with the brass band music of Sinaloa – the Mexican state now better known for El Chapo than its musical output. Oscar, the son of Mexican immigrants, felt a nostalgic connection to the music of his parents. Jacob, who had no prior knowledge of the music, first heard it on a Mexican jukebox and was instantly fascinated by the intricate arrangements, the dexterity of the brass players and the astounding virtuosity of its sousaphone players.

Realizing that there was no traditional Banda in Brooklyn, they decided to start their own. They wrote new arrangements, Jacob practiced sousaphone and they enlisted some of their musician friends, most of them players familiar to jazz audiences: Chris Speed, Jim Black, Curtis Hasselbring, Brian Drye, Ben Holmes Justin Mullens as well as French Horn player Rachel Drehmann and singer Mireya Ramos, of Mariachi Flor de Toloache fame.

Soon, Banda de Los Muertos was attracting an audience made up of Brass aficionados and Mexicans – as well as kudos from the mother of all Mexican Brass Bands: Banda el Recodo.

Banda de Los Muertos’ debut album is a tribute to the early years of the genre, but also a re-interpretation of the Banda tradition. The band stresses the intricacies of the original music over the more hook-driven new hits that hold favor on contemporary Mexican radio stations. Jacob and Oscar’s original arrangements have a big band flavor that relies on the precise ensemble playing – but without ever giving in to the temptation of esoteric jazz improvisation. Banda de Los Muertos plays popular music – the kind of music you’re supposed to get married and break up to.

At Pioneer Works, the ten piece brass band will celebrate the release of their debut album with the help of their friends Mariachi Flor de Toloache – whose leader, Mierya Ramos, also happens to sing with La Banda… And as the date closely coincides with Mexican Independence Day (Sept 16th), the event will be a celebration of Mexico and Mexican culture in the US, complete with mexican food in the garden as well as very special guests tba.