Hot 8 Brass Band

Formed in 1995 by merging the Looney Tunes Brass Band and the High Steppers Brass Band after they left Alcee Fortier High School, the Hot 8 Brass Band might be throwing hip-hop, jazz and funk elements into a blend with New Orleans brass band sounds there’s little doubt their hearts are firmly wedged in the traditional territory of Sunday afternoon second line parades hosted by the city’s surviving Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs and traditional jazz funerals

An appearance in Spike Lee's 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts brought the band’s blend of traditional marching music, hip hop, and R&B to wider prominence, as did their appearance in Treme after declining to appear in the show’s first season. As a result they’re less likely to be sighted in the second line, but are active in a number of community campaigns, including Silence is Violence (dedicated to making the city safer after the murder of Hot 8 member Dinerral Shavers), Save Our Brass (supporting Katrina-displaced brass bands and musicians with funding and instruments to replace the ones they lost) and Finding Our Folk (an effort to reunite communities of the Gulf Coast diaspora).

Past and present band members include:

Bennie "Big Peter" Pete (sousaphone and band leader)

Terrell "Burger" Batiste (trumpet) (lost both legs in an accident in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2006)

Harry "Swamp Thang" Cook (bass drum)

Jerome "Baybay" Jones (trombone)

Alvarez "B.I.G. AL" Huntley (trumpet)

Dinerral "Dick" Shavers (snare drum) (shot and killed while driving with his family in 2006, aged 25)

Raymond "Dr. Rackle" Williams (trumpet)

Keith "Wolf" Anderson (trombone)

Jereau "Cousin" Fournett (trombone)

Wendell "Cliff" Stewart (saxophone)

Demond "Bart" Dorsey (trombone) (died of a heart attack in 2004, aged 28)

Jacob Johnson (trumpet) (found shot execution-style in his home in 1996, aged 17)

Joseph "Shotgun Joe" Williams (trombone) (shot dead by police in controversial circumstances in 2004, aged 22)

Gregory "Koon" Veals (trombone)


2007 Rock with The Hot 8

2008 Down in New Orleans (by the Blind Boys of Alabama)

2012 The Life and Times of the Hot 8 Brass Band

© Ian Hughes 2012