Dupont Brass Show No Signs of Slowing Down

If you haven’t ridden the Dupont Brass train, you may want to hop on. Once a mainstay at D.C. Metro stations (including Dupont Circle, from which the group’s name derives), the evolving brass band is on the come up. Recently, they’ve played amphitheaters, concert halls, and festivals across the East Coast, and they’re hungry for more. In April, the nine-piece band wrapped their first tour, which they booked themselves, and this summer they can be seen at several concert series happening throughout the region. 

Sometime around 2011, the founding members formed a relatively traditional brass band while attending Howard University. Brent Bass Heavy Slim Gossett plays sousaphone, Anthony Aye Ant Daniel Jr. and Jared MK Zulu Bailey are on trumpets, and Joe Jeauxsmeaux Wilson and Isaac Deacon Izzy Bell IV are on trombones. 

The band’s earliest gigs were busking and playing Christmas carols in Georgetown, an HU brass band tradition of sorts. It was the right vibe, wrong place, says MK Zulu, explaining that people in the neighborhood weren’t feeling their sound. At a friend’s suggestion, they headed east to Dupont Circle, where they found their audience. 

“We ended up at Dupont Circle, in between the Krispy Kreme and the Panera. People would come out and dance in the snow,” Bass Heavy Slim tells City Paper. “There are a couple monumental and memorable moments that happened out there.”

In Dupont, the band arranged their own Christmas carols. “[On horns], we played everything—we played harmonic support, background parts, the melodies. We played solos,” says Slim. “We were literally brass marathon players. We’d have days where there was a horn on our face for maybe seven hours.”

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