Pizza Express, Soho, London - Saturday 18th January 2020

Lichfield Jazz Festival - Saturday 30th May 2020

Karamel, London - date TBC

Click here for more details


The Brass Monkeys – touring through April, May and June 2020

A brass band unlike any you have heard before The Brass Monkeys are an eclectic improvising wild bunch influenced by jazz, blues, reggae, country, free improvisation, soul, folk …… Performing an exciting mix of original material and unusual classics The Brass Monkeys offer a reverent but iconoclastic take on the history of musical improvisation.

‘A fun evening with @8BrassMonkeys …, moving from unruly polyphony to heartfelt chorale via Nichols, Monk, Lil Hardin, Lester Bowie, Shepp and more.’ John Sharpe @JazzSnipe

In the spring of 2020, The Brass Monkeys are looking to tour across the UK. With Lichfield Jazz Festival booked for the 31st May, and dates at Karamel in London and the Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead to be finalised we are looking for a further 6 or 7 dates across April May and June of 2020. We are also looking to play Festivals in the UK and abroad in the latter part of the year.

We have now put together a great line up that embraces an exciting mix of youth and experience and have just completed sell-out gigs at Pizza Express, Soho, The Vortex, Dalston and The Bear Club in Luton.

The Brass Monkeys are:

Trumpets/flugels - Chris Dowding (Natural Causes, Rude 2.0),
Charlotte Keeffe (Space Painters, Keeffe/Macari Duo)

French horn - Jim Rattigan (Pavillion, Haden/Bley Liberation Music Orchestra)

Trombones - Annie Whitehead (Rude 2.0, Penguin Café Orchestra),
Kieran McLeod (New World, Julian Argüelles Septet)

Saxes/clarinets - Paul Jolly (The People Band, Loverly)

Tuba/trumpet/flugel/leader - Ben Higham (Monk Inc., Arthur, Loverly)

Drums - Olly Blackman (Hackney Colliery Band, Quadracerotops)

Click here for press photos of the band

The repertoire is half original and a range of material from all kinds of sources including tunes by Herbie Nicols, Bill Frisell, Lillian Hardin-Armstrong, Archie Shepp, Jonas Gwangwa, Lester Bowie, Taj Mahal, Thelonious Monk, Dudu Pukwana……… The key element in all our music is the opportunity for interplay between the musicians which is at the organic heart of this band. This is achieved in part by a combination of improvising contexts; solos, duos, trios and full ensemble interactions stimulate the essential spontaneity. Basically, we are all ears.

Over the years ensemble members have worked with (to name a few) Joan Armatrading, Lianne Carroll, Elvis Costello, Julia Doyle, Joe Gallivan, Joe Jackson, Chris MacGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Louis Moholo Moholo, Laura Mvula, Maggie Nicols, Natural Causes, Courtney Pine, Dudu Pukwana, The People Band, John Russell, Paul Rutherford, John Stevens, The Style Council, Keith Tippett, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt….

Contact - or call Ben on +44 7703 403922





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