Raging Brass Reggae returns to Congress Square Park to kick off our Friday night events for the May First Friday Artwalk! This high energy 7-piece ska ensemble is sure to get you on your feet.
RBR was formed in 2014 by trumpeter Marc Chillemi. This 7-piece brass band pays tribute to 1960s Jamaican Ska, Rocksteady and Roots Reggae instrumentals. Created in South Portland, Maine, RBR includes trumpet, trombone, alto & tenor saxophones, guitar, tuba and drums. Featuring an all-star collection of musicians from Portland based bands Primo Cubano, Rustic Overtones, The Fogcutters Big Band, Sly Chi, and the Portland Rumba Project.
Raging Brass Reggae has been a long time vision of Marc’s that has finally come to fruition. After hearing the music of the legendary Skatelites for the first time, Marc knew he wanted to learn and play this music.
Marc assembled a hand-pick horn section from Portland’s most inventive and soulful players. Using tuba instead of electric bass, which is common in New Orleans music and brass bands from around the world, the beginning of the RBR sound was in place. Marc calls this rhythmic foundation “T&D”.
In addition to the performance side of RBR, there is an educational element. In 2014, Marc was awarded a project grant by the Maine Arts Commission to start a pilot program to teach young music students about jazz improvisation and how to groove as a group through this Jamaican music and it’s history that lead to its invention. The program serves as an expansion to the existing methods used in public schools throughout the United States. Our goal is to inspire groups of horn players to explore and discover their own sound and style. Out of many one sound.