Best of BBtv: Hot 8 Brass Band of New Orleans (music)

Our retrospective of favorite Boing Boing tv episodes continues. I'd actually planned to post something else today, but this is what feels appropriate, while our friends in Louisiana -- and expats from there -- cope with Hurricane Gustav. So above and below, an encore presentation of BBtv's two-part feature on the Hot 8 Brass Band of New Orleans, with our UK-based music correspondent Russell Porter.

A little background on the band:

The members of the Hot 8 were all born and raised in New Orleans; many of them began playing together in high school. In 1995 they came together and began playing traditional New Orleans brass band music professionally.

Founded by Bennie Pete, Jerome Jones, and Harry Cook in 1995, the band has played in traditional Second Line parades hosted each Sunday by a Social Aid and Pleasure Club ever since. The Hot 8 are famous for playing all day in the sun, then hopping to a club gig and playing through the night. But even more than their boundless energy, what makes the Hot 8 special are the sounds they coax from their well-loved, well-worn horns.

(...) Following Hurricane Katrina and the devastation wrought upon New Orleans, The Hot 8 became the featured band in the SAVE OUR BRASS! relief project, which brought music to evacuee shelters, temporary trailer parks, and communities that have reached out to New Orleanians.

Part one of the interview and live musical performance above, part two below. -- XJ


  1. Aw, yeah, these guys are awesome! I was with a group down in Louisiana last summer doing Katrina cleanup and heard them rocking the night on Canal St. the night before we left for home. This is what I said:

    On our way in, at the corner of Canal and Bourbon, we saw (heard several blocks before we saw, actually) a knot of urban youths producing tremendous ragtime with a trumpet, several drums, and a tuba. The tuba and drums would start off each tune in sputtering fits, like pulling the cord of a recalcitrant lawnmower, but then it would catch, and the trumpet would start braying, and suddenly there was all this rolling power and momentum and joy in the air. And that was New Orleans, right there. On our way back to the hotel, I twirled the purple beads I’d found in the street, and dropped my last dollar in the kids’ big bucket, and was so so glad to be where I was.

    I had no idea who they were. Thanks for giving me a name to connect to the music.

  2. Very nice! I like the bit of p-funk they threw in toward the end of the first number. Nice touch. Overall great sound. New Orleans lives in the sounds and soul of its people.

  3. Holy poop. I just twigged that the Hot 8 could be the subject of a recent Banksy mural in New Orleans (which was subsequently buffed by the grey ghost).

  4. I’m sure they’re great, but they should reconsider that T-shirt design. It looks like it reads “H8T” (more like “hate” than “hot eight”).

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