Mardi Gras may be over, but UT still got a taste of New Orleans flare at the Carousel Theatre.
The Hot 8 Brass Band performed Monday night, and trumpet player Terrell “Burger” Batiste hit the nail on the head: the Hot 8 set the stage ablaze.
The event, hosted by the Black Cultural Programming Committee, featured the Hot 8 Brass Band, originally from Louisiana. The group epitomizes New Orleans street music, which they’ve done for more than a decade. The band plays in second line parades, traditional jazz funerals and local jazz nightclubs.
The eight men that form the band were born and raised in New Orleans, and many began playing together in high school. The group caught greater notoriety in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when they appeared in Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary, "When the Levees Broke."
After that, fans caught onto the band's blend of traditional music, hip hop and R&B. On Monday night, UT students discovered the same thing.
“They had so much energy and passion,” Olivia Shrem, sophomore in finance, said. “I don’t typically care for jazz, but I love the sound this band has. Their personality and soul just make it even better.”
The Hot 8 kicked things off with a high-paced, energetic number that had the crowd clapping along. The first song set the upbeat tempo for the night as the audience swayed in approval, thanks in large part to Harry “Swamp Thang” Cook on the bass drum and Errol Marchand, Jr. on the snare drum.
As soon as the next song started, the audience got a taste of New Orleans soul music. Students heard a slice of the older sounds of a traditional brass band, which Batiste drove home with a hearty trumpet solo.
The band increased its momentum with each piece.
By the third song, the Hot 8 had audience members singing along with the group. This number featured heavy amounts of saxophone player Clarence “Trixzey” Slaughter.
The Hot 8 kept the crowd on its feet as the talented group continued to entertain the audience. Halfway through the performance, the band played a song from their new album. The beat of this piece carried the same vigor that the band’s older music did, and the crowd was on its feet, clapping and singing in unison with the passionate group.
Since each selection was around 15 minutes long, most would expect the band to lose energy after a brief intermission, but not the Hot 8 Brass Band. The group hit the listeners with a sweetly melodic jazz number that conjured images of jazz bands featured in movies such as “The Notebook.”
Toward the end of the show, trumpet player Raymond “Dr. Rackle” Williams urged the crowd to sway from side to side in each remaining number, while trombone players Larry Brown and Jerome “Baybay” Jones sang.
Each member of the Hot 8 has musical influences, including Travis Carter. The gifted tuba player loves gospel, jazz and R&B. Regardless of different musical tastes, the group combines to form a successful and entertaining group.
Cody Shirley, junior in biology, said he loved the show.
“The Hot 8 was awesome," Shirley said. "I think they did a great job of mixing jazz and funk with an older, more soulful sound. I can hear and see their roots in how they play.”