4BR Dinner Guests — The Bad Ass Brass Band

The members of Bad Ass Brass tell 4BR who they would want to invite around their very large dinner table...

Bad Ass Brass Band
Dinner Guests? Bad Ass Brass Band...

Given the opportunity, the wish list, the ability to mess about with the Space-Time Continuam like Doctor Who, and the skill to cook like Heston Blumenthal, who would you like to invite around to your place to enjoy a meal and chin wag with?   

4BR started it all off a few days before Christmas 2007 with our 10 dinner guests, so we thought we had better ask a few more brass band personalities who would be on their all time dinner list too..

Multi talented

This time it's the talented members of Bad Ass Brass Band (above) who drew up their list prior to their appearance at the Butlins Mineworkers Festival in Skegness.

As with any band with lots of opinions - this one took some sorting out, as they told 4BR...

"After 20 minutes locked in a room trying to sort out our ultimate guest list, we soon realised that we had so many suggestions, we had to establish some selection ground rules: 

Each section of the band had one pick (Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Sousaphone and Drums)

We would shoehorn in the ensemble who had had the most influence on Bad Ass Brass."

Time machine

A compromise then? "The final four places would be selected by majority vote from a shortlist.
We also decided on the venue for the dinner and seeing as we have a time machine available to us we thought it would be silly not to use it. So we are going to ask everyone to meet at the Captain's Table on the RMS Titanic at 7.30pm on 11th April 1912.

That should give us enough time to eat, drink and talk through the night, and still give us two days to work out how to get off."

1. Maynard Ferguson

It is an inexplicable fact of life that all brass players from all musical styles get excited by high trumpet playing.

We had the pleasure of hearing Maynard and his band play live a few times over the years before he sadly passed away and it was fantastic to see a man who loved what he did and existed to use music as pure entertainment - something that we try to replicate as a band.

He would be worth an invite if only to hear him say “Let's take one more trip to Birdland” just once more. 

2. Wycliffe Gordon

Wycliffe Gordon is one of the most progressive and sought after jazz trombonists working today and the opportunity to sit down over dinner and have a good old natter about his thoughts and views on the world of music would be fascinating.

 He is also having an amazing impact of music education, which is something that is hugely important to Bad Ass Brass.

3. Lee Konitz

Selecting one saxophonist from many who have had such an influence over the years is an almost impossible task.

The thing that swung it in Lee's favour is that of all the people we could have gone for, he is renowned for being a real chatterbox and full of great stories about his time spent working with Miles Davis during the ‘Birth of the Cool’ Sessions.

Who wouldn't want to hear those?

4. Owen Slade

Bad Ass Brass's sousaphone player, Mike Poyser explains why… I believe Owen to be a phenomenon on tuba – probably the best ever! He makes a sound that nobody can quite get to, just listen to the Batman: The Dark Knight sound track or countless others (eg. Bond, Gladiator, Harry Potter, Shrek) to hear what I mean.

Some people would want him at their dinner party to pick his brains about his immense range, superlative sound, monstrous lung capacity and freakish technique.

For me however he’s a great friend who lives round the corner so he’d be easy to pick up, and I know we’d enjoy a pint or two with these other great guests!

5. Buddy Rich

So far we have selected our guests for their great personalities as well as their incredible musicianship.

Buddy Rich breaks the rule as we thought it might shake the party up a bit to have a man that was renowned for being a big bully and spared no time in sacking members of his band if they even put the slightest foot out of line!

He was a pretty good drummer too though.

6. Young Blood Brass Band

As the overall selection process for this dinner is from a group perspective, we thought that we'd try and get away with inviting a group as just one of our selections (if you're reading this then we did!).

Young Blood is an incredible band from the United States and is the band that inspired Bad Ass Brass to form in the first place.

Our other dinner guests would surely think we were cool if these boys turned up.

7. Dimitri Shostakovich

We think Shostakovich is one of the greatest composers ever and someone that really harnessed brass instrumental playing to the maximum – so many of his symphonies are testament to this.

The one piece that fascinates us most is his 7th Symphony “The Leningrad” written while under siege during the 2nd World War.

“How do you write an epic symphony while being bombed?” would be question number one.

He was also into football, which would be a good icebreaker!

8. Alan Partridge

As Alan Partridge is the most quoted man in Bad Ass Brass rehearsals (mainly thanks to Sam our Sax player) we thought it would be a nice idea to have the man himself there to lighten the mood.

He might even give us one of Alan's facts of the day:  “crabsticks do not actually contain any crab and since 1993 manufacturers have been legally obliged to label them ‘crab-flavoured sticks’.”

9. Albert Einstein

Quite simply - a genius!

He revolutionised physics with his theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity. He wrote hundreds of papers on all aspects of physics (many of which were ground breaking), he won a Nobel prize, helped win WWII for the allies by encouraging nuclear arms development (Germany, he pointed out to Roosevelt, had already started their programme) and was even invited to be President of Israel!!!

This gives us quite a lot to discuss over our starters.

We also reckon that he would come into his own when we attempted a crossword while sipping port after our feast…..

10. Nigella Lawson

Having reviewed our first nine selections we've realised that our dinner party is seriously missing two key elements:

a) Someone who can cook
b) A pretty face.


Previous dinner guest lists:   

Previous guests have included the 4BR selection; Chris Wormald; David Read; Pete Meechan; Alan Jenkins; Derek Broadbent; Philip Harper; Peter Roberts; Frank Renton; James Shepherd; Dr Roy Newsome; Paul Lovatt-Cooper; Bramwell Tovey; Kevin Crockford; Morvern Gilchrist and Lesley Howie; Richard Evans; Simone Rebello; Ian Porthouse; David Daws; Alan Morrison; Alan Wycherley, Mark Bousie, Steven Haynes, Simon Dobson, Ian Buckley , John Roberts, Cai Isfryn, James Stretton and Harmen Vanhoorne.

Regent Hall Concerts - The January Band

Friday 3 February • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C2DJ

WFEL Fairey Band -

Sunday 5 February • Glossop Old Bandroom . Derby St.. SK138LP SK138LP

Regent Hall Concerts - Junior Guildhall Brass Band

Friday 10 February • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C2DJ

Contest: Norwegian National Brass Band Championships

Friday 10 February • Grieghallen, Bergen, N-5015 N-5015

Contest: Norwegian National Brass Band Championships

Saturday 11 February • Grieghallen, Bergen, N-5015 N-5015

Chadderton Band

January 31 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band and welcome all players of any age and ability on all sections of the band. Please come along and meet the band you will be very welcomed.

Leicestershire Co-op Band

January 30 • Leicestershire Co-op Band are looking for a PERCUSSIONIST for the 2023 Midlands Regional Championships (and beyond). Do you fancy the challenge of The Pilgrim's Progress under the artistic direction of Keith Leonard?

Newstead Brass

January 30 • Our Red Priest is still looking for an EEb Bass as we prepare for the midland championships with Martin Heartfield. Great chance to work with a great MD on this challenging but fun piece to rehearse.

David W. Ashworth

Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator


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