Lowdown Brass Band will play at WMSE Backyard BBQ on Saturday.
Chicago-based, the Lowdown Brass Band (LDB) has gained a following in Milwaukee. The group keeps crowds grooving with its irresistible blend of hip-hop, New Orleans jazz, funk and Latin music.
LDB has played Summerfest two years in a row, as well as shows at Anodyne in Walker’s Point. Founding LDB member and baritone saxophonist David Levine said that the group is striving to perform more shows in Brew City.
“We’re trying to make it a thing. We’ve had some really great crowds in Milwaukee,” Levine said in a recent telephone interview, during which he was traveling through Montana’s Rocky Mountains.
Currently on a U.S. tour, LDB will perform from 4:50 to 5:50 p.m. Saturday as part of the 10th Annual WMSE Backyard BBQ at Bay View’s Humboldt Park. The free event, which will be held from noon to 8p.m., will also feature music by the Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, November Criminals, the Grovelers, and Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. Visitors can enjoy food and beverages from Comet Café, Lakefront Brewery and Colectivo Coffee.
Influenced by horn-heavy bands like Chicago, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, R & B group Earth Wind and Fire, and 80s ska band The Specials, LDB was formed in Chicago in the early 2000s by Levine, Lance Loiselle, Shane Jonas and Chris Neal. Levine said the band was originally a breakdancing crew, but as its members got older, it evolved into a musical group,likely because there’s less chance of injuries that way.
The LDB lineup consists of nearly a dozen members, eight of them touring, including sousaphone (a portable tuba-like instrument invented by early 20th century bandleader John Philip Sousa) player Loiselle, trombonist Steve Duncan, and rapper MC Billa Camp. LDB has toured the U.S. several times and has performed several shows in Canada, including playing to a crowd of 40,000 at the Montreal Jazz Festival last year.
A hardworking band, LDB plays nearly 150 shows a year and has released several albums, including its 2008 self-titled debut album and 2018’s “LowDown Breaks.” The group recently put out a single, the funky, hip-hop-inspired “We Dem Boys.” LDB’s high-energy, visually impressive videos can be found on YouTube, and the band is working on adding more. “We’re trying to make a lot of videos to give our music a visual outlet,” said Levine. Ever busy, LDB also plans to release two singles in the next few months.
Levine added that the group is looking forward to returning to Milwaukee this Saturday. He feels that the WMSE Backyard BBQ will be “a crazy event with a lot of day drinking.”
He recommends that Humboldt Park visitors leave their worries at home that day.
“We’re a dance band. If people aren’t prepared to have fun, they shouldn’t come to see us,” Levine said.
Who: Lowdown Brass Band
What: 10th Annual WMSE Backyard BBQ
Where: Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Avenue
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, from 4:50 to 5:50 p.m.