'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 band offers a reverent but iconoclastic take on the history of musical improvisation’

The Brass Monkeys 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. 

The band was originally conceived as a quintet of 3 saxophones, guitar and tuba and recorded a CD 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 [Brass Monkeys were] very energising and uplifting – there was lots of oomph in it …’ 21/12/16 (The Vortex)

‘... the mix of styles and influences …. were effective in creating a fresh and contemporary version of the big band sound.  There was a nice balance of accessible and more challenging material. The performances were energetic and masterful.’ 17/12/16 (HOOT Huddersfield)

'@TheTripleBill gig tonight inc lovely tribute piece to E Svensson by @chrisjdowding. & veteran trombonist Dave Amis - great!’ 16/12/16 (Norwich Arts Centre)

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 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. 

The new line up is: 
Chris Dowding and Charlotte Keeffe - trumpets/flugels
Jim Rattigan – French horn
Annie Whitehead and Dave Amis - trombones
Paul Jolly - saxes
Ben Higham - tuba and occasional trumpet/flugel, leader
Geoff Charlton/Olly Blackman - drums 

Contact - info@thebrassmonkeys.eu 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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