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Interview with the Funky Dawgz Brass Band

Glenn Rohrbacker

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This year’s Fall Concert was headlined by We the Kings, who played an awesome show at the Beckman Recreation Center. Opening for them was an up and coming traditional New Orleans brass band called the Funky Dawgz Brass Band.

They got the crowd moving and jamming to some of their original music, along with some jazzed up covers.

The Funky Dawgz formed at UCONN thanks to one teacher a few years ago and have been playing together since. I got the chance, along with members of the Film/Communications club and members from Her Campus, to interview the band about their journey and what they’re all about.

Glenn: What are some of your musical influences?

Funky Dawgz: Well we’re a unique ensemble, modeled after the New Orleans traditional style of music. It dates back to Louis Armstrong, the beginnings of jazz and things of that time. There are tons of brass bands that have come before us that we’ve kind of leaned back and learned from that.

GR: So with a genre as old as jazz or funk, how do you guys stay original in your music?

FD: None of us really listen to the same music. So when you combine the hip hop and the rock backgrounds it creates a whole new sound. You usually don’t hear a brass band rap on a track.

GR: So being a big band, what is your songwriting style and process like?

FD: Well sometimes I’ll come in with a beat and play it for everyone else and they started bouncin’ to it and once you get that one spark and you just kind of take it from there. It’s a pretty collective process. We’ll each bring in ideas to the table and when everyone starts working on it, then it becomes a Funky Dawgz tune.

GR: How do you guys stay popular when you play a genre that isn’t typically played on the radio?

FD: We could take any song thats on the radio now and throw some horns on it and it sounds better than the one on the radio! I think a lot of our popularity comes from that we’re very unique as a band, not a lot of people do this up in the northeast. We just like to have fun with it, and its the energy is very eclectic and thats why the festival scene is really drawn to us.

GR: Have you gotten a good response from the audience even though the genre might not be their thing?

FD: Absolutely. There’s nobody out there that doesn’t like horns. I think people are impressed by the fact that we’re creating this music on the spot, which applies some realness to it.

GR: So what have been the biggest spaces you guys have played?

FD: Well we just played MSG with Dispatch, we’ve played at UConn, Sacred Heart, UMass, Blue Nile in New Orleans, at lot of places in Jackson Square.

GR: So how’s the response down in Louisiana since you guys are from the northeast?
FD: People thought we were from New Orleans. Everywhere we go people think we’re from there.

The Funky Dawgz Brass Band are redefining the genre of big band jazz and New Orleans music all the way up in Connecticut. They connected with a whole crowd of college students at UNH and really brought the house down. You can find the Funky Dawgz on social media as well as their latest album on iTunes and Spotify.

This year’s Fall Concert was headlined by We the Kings, who played an awesome show at the Beckman Recreation Center. Opening for them was an up and coming traditional New Orleans brass band called the Funky Dawgz Brass Band.
They got the crowd moving and jamming to some of their original music, along with some jazzed up covers.
The Funky Dawgz formed at UCONN thanks to one teacher a few years ago and have been playing together since. I got the chance, along with members of the Film/Communications club and members from Her Campus, to interview the band about their journey and what they’re all about.
Glenn: What are some of your musical influences?
Funky Dawgz: Well we’re a unique ensemble, modeled after the New Orleans traditional style of music. It dates back to Louis Armstrong, the beginnings of jazz and things of that time. There are tons of brass bands that have come before us that we’ve kind of leaned back and learned from that.
GR: So with a genre as old as jazz or funk, how do you guys stay original in your music?
FD: None of us really listen to the same music. So when you combine the hip hop and the rock backgrounds it creates a whole new sound. You usually don’t hear a brass band rap on a track.
GR: So being a big band, what is your songwriting style and process like?
FD: Well sometimes I’ll come in with a beat and play it for everyone else and they started bouncin’ to it and once you get that one spark and you just kind of take it from there. It’s a pretty collective process. We’ll each bring in ideas to the table and when everyone starts working on it, then it becomes a Funky Dawgz tune.
GR: How do you guys stay popular when you play a genre that isn’t typically played on the radio?
FD: We could take any song thats on the radio now and throw some horns on it and it sounds better than the one on the radio! I think a lot of our popularity comes from that we’re very unique as a band, not a lot of people do this up in the northeast. We just like to have fun with it, and its the energy is very eclectic and thats why the festival scene is really drawn to us.
GR: Have you gotten a good response from the audience even though the genre might not be their thing?
FD: Absolutely. There’s nobody out there that doesn’t like horns. I think people are impressed by the fact that we’re creating this music on the spot, which applies some realness to it.
GR: So what have been the biggest spaces you guys have played?
FD: Well we just played MSG with Dispatch, we’ve played at UConn, Sacred Heart, UMass, Blue Nile in New Orleans, at lot of places in Jackson Square.
GR: So how’s the response down in Louisiana since you guys are from the northeast?
FD: People thought we were from New Orleans. Everywhere we go people think we’re from there.
The Funky Dawgz Brass Band are redefining the genre of big band jazz and New Orleans music all the way up in Connecticut. They connected with a whole crowd of college students at UNH and really brought the house down. You can find the Funky Dawgz on social media as well as their latest album on iTunes and Spotify.

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Interview with the Funky Dawgz Brass Band