Karamel, London – Thursday 1st July

Wells Maltings, Norfolk – Friday 2nd July

Camouflage, Norwich – Saturday 24th July

Lichfield Jazz Festival, West Midlands – Saturday, 21st August

Pizza Express, Soho – Wednesday 1st September

Birmingham Jazz – Friday 3rd September

Ashburton Live, Devon – Monday 13th September

Fougou Jazz, Paignton, Devon – Tuesday 14th September

Click here for recent gigs


The Brass Monkeys - postponed plans from 2020 mean we are now touring from June to September in 2021 and available for festivals

Fees - We are applying to the Arts Council for tour support. We are interested in offers including possible door splits. The band is based around London and East Anglia.

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

We have put together a great line-up that embraces an exciting mix of youth and experience.

The Brass Monkeys are:

Trumpets/flugels - Chris Dowding (Natural Causes, Rude 2.0)
Charlotte Keeffe (Space Painters, The Anthropology Band)

French horn - Jim Rattigan (Pavillon, 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/leader - Ben Higham (Monk Inc., Arthur, Loverly)

Drums - Olly Blackman (Hackney Colliery Band, Quadracerotops)

Live at Pizza Express, Soho 18/01/20

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….

A shout out to Dave Amis whose beautiful trombone tones and lines were part of The Brass Monkeys until he retired from touring in 2019. 

Contact - info@8brassmonkeys.co.uk or call Ben on +44 7703 403922


Click here to see artwork generated at live performances



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