New Orleans music down the streets of Wellington – Free Agents Brass Band

Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown introduced the Free Agents Brass Band (FABB) to the enthusiastic crowd at Wellington’s Cuba Dupa carnival. The Embassy supported Cuba Dupa by bringing FABB from the U.S. to Wellington to perform at Cuba Dupa and a local school, as well as leading a music workshop with local musicians.

When Hurricanes Katrina & Rita came ashore, ravished New Orleans and displaced its musicians throughout the world, a group of these natives became the “Free Agents Brass Band”. After watching their city drown, many New Orleanians relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where they would soon become desperate to hear jazz music accompanied by a traditional second line that was an ingredient of the culture gumbo they loved in their pre-Katrina New Orleans.

Founded by bass drummer, Ellis Joseph, the Free Agents Brass Band professed to fill that earning void. “I consider myself a free agent, so that’s where the name came from,” says Joseph. An experienced bass drummer and graduate of St. Augustine High School, Joseph has traveled extensively with various New Orleans Brass Bands (read more on their background below).

Here is just a sample of FABB’s time in New Zealand…

U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown, introducing FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown, introducing FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.
U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown, introducing FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State. FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State. FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State. FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State. FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State. FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.
FABB at Cuba Dupa. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

Media:

 

FABB Background:

When Hurricanes Katrina & Rita came ashore, ravished New Orleans and displaced its musicians throughout the world, a group of these natives became the “Free Agents Brass Band”. After watching their city drown, many New Orleanians relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where they would soon become desperate to hear jazz music accompanied by a traditional second line that was an ingredient of the culture gumbo they loved in their pre-Katrina New Orleans.

Founded by bass drummer, Ellis Joseph, the Free Agents Brass Band professed to fill that earning void. “I consider myself a free agent, so that’s where the name came from,” says Joseph. An experienced bass drummer and graduate of St. Augustine High School, Joseph has traveled extensively with various New Orleans Brass Bands.

Joseph made it his mission to provide the world and native New Orleanians residing in places unfamiliar to them with the resonance of home by gathering several other musicians who had also relocated to Atlanta. With over 100 combined years of playing with brass bands such as Rebirth, New Birth, Stooges, Soul Rebels, High Steppers, Pin Stripe, Lil’ Rascals, and Showtime Brass Bands; because of their love, respect, and understanding of social aid and pleasure and their reliability, many of the above named bands leaders call on the Free Agents regularly to stand in for some of their top gigs.
The music is live and intense! The showmanship is second to none! Many bands are called but chosen are few. Any crowd will thoroughly enjoy the Free Agents and leave musically satisfied longing for more of that classic New Orleans Second Line.