Since 1999, New Haven-based Brass has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary genres, reimagining jazz, baroque, and Dixieland styles to provide audiences with new takes on familiar songs. Junius Johnson, one of the group’s founding members, current manager, and resident French horn player, said, “We saw a brass quintet as a way to explore the extremes of what we could do with virtuoso playing on our instruments, in a way that wasn’t really possible in a traditional orchestra or band setting. The idea was that it is more fun to play technically difficult music but especially if that music was also something familiar in another idiom: great orchestral overtures, movie scores, things like that.”
On Sunday, Dec. 15, the group will expand its experimental repertoire by reimagining holiday classics for its highly lauded Sounds of the Season concert at The Arts at St. Matthew’s. Brass initially performed this concert at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to a beyond capacity crowd, debuting Christmas songs and carols from its new holiday CD, which will come out early next year.