Brass musicians bringing ‘fun factory’ to Fall Fest

By : 
GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The Brass Messengers, self-described as a sprawling fun factory of 10 musicians, will bring their “twisted brass tubing” to Wykoff Fall Fest.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul musicians note that their “music of choice is anything that fits into the twisted brass tubing, from inspired originals to ‘sing-alongs’ and ‘covers’ from around the globe.  Truly, a joyful noise.” The Messengers are bringing their tubing fun to Fall Fest this year, first appearing in the grand parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, then uptown at the Wykoff Fire Hall afterward to share their brand of brass with new audiences and old friends.

Wykoff Fall Fest Committee member Eva Barr helped the committee choose this guest musical group for the 2018 Fall Fest festivities because she knew that they’d have the right “zing,” the perfect “oompa,” a “tra-la-la” and a go-round the world, as their tunes are globally-founded and -adapted.   

The Brass Messengers are a Minneapolis street band playing mostly original music inspired by global sources, according to the band’s online description.  The band formed from the annual rubble of the Heart of the Beast May Day Parade and Ceremony in Minneapolis. 

The musical origins were found in the music of Africa, the Caribbean and Balkans, but now the Messengers play “whatever works, throwing in a country song to the crying drinkers, a high-speed polka or two for the Midwest dancers, running in circles with the little ones, activating gatherings of our activist kin or a bit of Black Sabbath for the metal crowd.  But mostly, it is an original music that rises from the heart of the band that can only be described as a homegrown Minneapolis street music sound,” explains the online description.

The Messengers have played stages large and small, from parties to bars, large theaters to street parades and funerals.  The band has been a part of community street band festivals for nine years running in Sommerville, Massachusetts, Seattle and Austin, Texas.  Additionally, the band has performed at venues such as the Minneapolis Mosaic, a cultural diversity festival held in downtown Minneapolis, the Bloomington Global Celebration in the Bloomington Civic Plaza, and also at the Ely, Minn., Blueberry Festival, at the North Shore Music Association in Grand Marais, and even near Wykoff where Barr had the privilege of hearing the band perform literally in her own front yard at DreamAcres Community-Supported Agriculture Farm between Fillmore and Spring Valley. 

“They’ve played at DreamAcres more than once, and I thought they’d make a great addition to Fall Fest in Wykoff,” said Barr. “We’re excited to welcome them to celebrate with us.  They’re very fun and lively, and you’ll have a great time listening to them play.”