• Ally J Steel

New York Brass Band - Interview (Jazz Leeds Festival 2019)

In the run up to Jazz Leeds Festival 2019, Ally got the chance to talk to James Lancaster from New York Brass Band, a contemporary New Orleans inspired brass band hailing from the ancient streets of York.


The group will be performing in Leeds City Centre Saturday 20th July - from 1pm - starting off in Briggate and making their way down to St Peters Square as part of the festival.




You’ve just come back from a whole series of performances of Glastonbury. How did you find it? What was the best part of the festival?


"The best thing is the people. The crowds are great and fellow performers who camp with us backstage have become our friends. It’s easy when the crowds are just so up for it from the 1st tune to the last."


How did you guys meet in the first place?


"I was a Head of Music in a school and started the band as a lunchtime club for Sixth Form musicians. Within 2 years I’d quit my job and the band went full time!"



Being from Yorkshire, do you guys have any special memories playing in Leeds?


"We’ve played many gigs in Leeds. We really enjoy playing Hifi Club on a Sunday evening. It’s an 11pm start and free entry so the crowd is made up of folk who want to squeeze every last bit of fun out of the weekend!"


Where do you see yourselves in the next few years? What are the ambitions of the group?


"Doing more of our jazz repertoire at European Festivals. We’ve had 3 festivals in Europe this year in Italy, The Netherlands and Croatia so we’ve got a taste for tour life."



Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?


"Carnival!! We’ve been booked to play at Notting Hill Carnival in August on one of the biggest stages and we’re planning our return trip to play at Carnival in Rio in March 2020. That’s a massive 5 day party."


New York Brass Band will be performing in Leeds City Centre Saturday 20th July.



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