New Birth Brass Band

The New Birth Brass Band mixes funk and hip-hop sounds with traditional brass band repertoire, and was an early example of the impact of the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth on brass bands in New Orleans. Bass drummer Cayetano “Tanio” Hingle has led the band along with snare drummer Kerry Hunter and trumpeter Kenny Terry since the 1980s.

Tuba player Kerwin James, the younger brother of Keith and Philip Frazier from the Rebirth Brass Band, wrote many of the compositions and arrangements for New Birth, such as “Who Dat Call The Police?” (based on a song by local rapper Kilo) and “A.P. Tureaud” (named after a street named after the celebrated civil rights attorney). Both songs feature signature tuba riffs and have been played extensively by other bands. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Kerwin James suffered a stroke while in Houston.  He subsequently fell into a coma, and died in September 2007.  Following Kerwin’s death, family and friends played a “warm-up” parade for him in the Treme neighborhood, resulting in a noise complaint and the arrests of musicians Derrick Tabb and Glen David Andrews.

New Birth has released several albums, including D-Boy (1997, Nyno Records), New Birth Family (2005, Valley Records), New Orleans Second Line (2006, Mardi Gras Records) and On My Way (2012).

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