26/10/19 - The Old Town Hall Hemel Hempstead - postponed. Watch this space for a new date.
4/10/19 - The Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston, London

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An eclectic improvising brassy band 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

The band have just reformed with a mix of some of the UK’s most exciting players to explore the textures and timbres that a group of excellent improvisers can bring to this music. 

Originally conceived as a quintet of 3 saxophones, guitar and tuba the band recorded Passion [1] on 33records in 1999. The band developed into a 7 piece format in 2016 and toured the UK in December of that year as part of a Triple Bill of Norwich based bands with funding from Arts Council England. The tour finished at The Vortex in London on 21/12/16. 

The repertoire is half and 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………

In the spring of 2018 the line up changed to include trombonist Annie Whitehead, trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe and saxophonist Paul Jolly and in December 2018 we expanded to an octet when we were joined French Horn player Jim Rattigan and Olly Blackman took over on drums. 

The new line up is: 

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),
Dave Amis (Cyan Traces, Keith Tippett’s Centipede)

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

Contact - or call Ben on +44 7703 403922

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, Chis Rea, John Russell, Paul Rutherford, John Stevens, The Style Council, Keith Tippett, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt….





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