On Saturday, October 23, the Red Bull Street Kings Brass Band Blowout will be holding an event in the place where much of New Orleans’ rich musical heritage was born—the street. To be held at 2 p.m. under the North Claiborne I-10 overpass, Red Bull Street Kings is a competition designed to showcase the newer generation of a long tradition of New Orleans brass bands.
Competing in the event will be the Free Agents Brass Band, formed one month after Hurricane Katrina from members of various displaced bands; the Stooges Brass Band, formed in 1996 by NOCCA graduates; the To Be Continued (TBC) Brass Band, formed while its members were still in high school, who are well known for their nightly performances at the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets (they have also been mentored by Efrem Towns of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, holding rehearsals at him home after Katrina); and the Soul Rebels Brass Band, famous for their raucous Thursday night parties at Le Bon Temps Roule.
The bands will be judged based on presentation, material, musicality, energy and innovation, and will be required to play at least one brass band standard in addition to original songs. The band who is crowned “Red Bull Street King” stands to benefit greatly, as winners will be given an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles for a three-day recording and mentorship session with a “veteran producer” in Red Bull’s own recording studio. Glen David Andrews will host the show.