Camouflage Norwich - Thursday 7th May 2020

Lichfield Jazz Festival - Saturday 30th May 2020

Karamel, London - 2nd July 2020

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The Brass Monkeys – touring through May, June and July 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/summer of 2020, The Brass Monkeys are looking to tour across the UK. With Camouflage in Norwich on 7th May, Lichfield Jazz Festival the 31st May, and Karamel in London booked for 2nd July we are looking for a further 6 or 7 dates across May to July. We are also looking to play Festivals in the UK and abroad in the latter part of the year.

We have put together a great line-up that embraces an exciting mix of youth and experience. We have just played 2 sell-out gigs at Pizza Express Live, Soho (August 2019/January 2020) as well as performances at The Vortex, Dalston and The Bear Club, Luton.

Live at Pizza Express, Soho 18/01/20

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


Click here to see artwork generated at live performances



Previous line up