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A State of Euphoria

The news from the Euphoria Brass Band is this: they recently completed a full length recording, their first, and have sent it off to New Orleans for mixing and mastering. Co-founder Drew Miller says he hopes to have the album (title to be announced) ready for release before the end of the year.

“It’s a nice mix of traditionals, funky contemporary tunes, and a sprinkling of killer originals.”

Miller is Euphoria’s bass drummer and host of the Second Line Parade on Jazz 88. He and a pair of New Orleans transplants, Oceanside guitarist Dave Bandrowski and snare drummer Ron Bocian started Euphoria last year. When we last talked, Euphoria, the only NOLA-style brass band in San Diego was scheduled to hold forth in traditional second line fashion at a local funeral.

“It was,” said Bocian, “a guy’s death-bed request,”

Any more, the term ‘second line’ pretty much describes any roving pleasure party that courses the streets of New Orleans, always on foot, always in step with a distinctive style of brass band, and not always limited to reasons of the funerary. But the tradition of the second line in America dates back to the mid 1800s when fraternal societies and businesses provided funeral insurance and burials for their members. As such, they hosted parades not only to pay tribute to members who had died but to advertise their services and drum up new customers.

NOLA is an acronym for New Orleans-Louisiana and describes a style of playing authentic to the street music of Crescent City. That music may indeed represent the roots of early jazz, Dixieland, even modern funk. Such bands always have at least one trombone, trumpet, a saxophone, possibly a clarinet, a tuba, and a snare and bass drum.

In October, the eight-members of Euphoria plus two additional guest performers managed to fit themselves and their instruments into a living room that had been converted into a recording studio in the Rancho Santa Fe home of Hiro Ikezi. “We brought in 15 tunes to record over two nights,” Miller says. “We recorded live as a band in one room, no overdubs.”

Euphoria recorded contemporary NOLA brass band favorites with several originals written by sax/clarinet player J.P. Balmat, Bandrowski, and sousaphonist Wayne Rice. Miller describes them as contemporary pieces in the same bag as Stanton Moore or the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. But the true NOLA experience, no matter how scripted, is also one of fluid improvisation. “On a couple of the originals, we basically worked songs up right there on the spot.”

The Euphoria Brass Band will perform at Dizzy's, Friday 11/25, 6pm, San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, Harbor Club Towers

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The news from the Euphoria Brass Band is this: they recently completed a full length recording, their first, and have sent it off to New Orleans for mixing and mastering. Co-founder Drew Miller says he hopes to have the album (title to be announced) ready for release before the end of the year.

“It’s a nice mix of traditionals, funky contemporary tunes, and a sprinkling of killer originals.”

Miller is Euphoria’s bass drummer and host of the Second Line Parade on Jazz 88. He and a pair of New Orleans transplants, Oceanside guitarist Dave Bandrowski and snare drummer Ron Bocian started Euphoria last year. When we last talked, Euphoria, the only NOLA-style brass band in San Diego was scheduled to hold forth in traditional second line fashion at a local funeral.

“It was,” said Bocian, “a guy’s death-bed request,”

Any more, the term ‘second line’ pretty much describes any roving pleasure party that courses the streets of New Orleans, always on foot, always in step with a distinctive style of brass band, and not always limited to reasons of the funerary. But the tradition of the second line in America dates back to the mid 1800s when fraternal societies and businesses provided funeral insurance and burials for their members. As such, they hosted parades not only to pay tribute to members who had died but to advertise their services and drum up new customers.

NOLA is an acronym for New Orleans-Louisiana and describes a style of playing authentic to the street music of Crescent City. That music may indeed represent the roots of early jazz, Dixieland, even modern funk. Such bands always have at least one trombone, trumpet, a saxophone, possibly a clarinet, a tuba, and a snare and bass drum.

In October, the eight-members of Euphoria plus two additional guest performers managed to fit themselves and their instruments into a living room that had been converted into a recording studio in the Rancho Santa Fe home of Hiro Ikezi. “We brought in 15 tunes to record over two nights,” Miller says. “We recorded live as a band in one room, no overdubs.”

Euphoria recorded contemporary NOLA brass band favorites with several originals written by sax/clarinet player J.P. Balmat, Bandrowski, and sousaphonist Wayne Rice. Miller describes them as contemporary pieces in the same bag as Stanton Moore or the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. But the true NOLA experience, no matter how scripted, is also one of fluid improvisation. “On a couple of the originals, we basically worked songs up right there on the spot.”

The Euphoria Brass Band will perform at Dizzy's, Friday 11/25, 6pm, San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, Harbor Club Towers

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