The Denver Brass is comprised of 14 professional musicians who dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of life of audiences in Colorado by presenting fresh and exhilarating shows that feature all musical styles. One of just a few professional large brass ensembles in the world, The Denver Brass enjoys a success directly linked to its universal appeal. People from every background find inspiration in its diverse programming – classical, jazz, Broadway, Latin, and new sound sensations created by brass with bagpipes, steel drums, hand-bells, fiddlers, voices, and a variety of distinguished soloists. The trademark sound of The Denver Brass features an array of more than 13 distinct brass instruments, which utilize mutes and technical expertise to produce a rainbow of sound phenomena – not a band, not an orchestra, an entirely new sound. “The Denver Brass” and “Denver Brass5” are heard by more than 65,000 people at more than 150 performances annually, and on over 20 compact discs on the Klavier, Centaur, Delos and Denver Brass labels. Musicians are selected not only for exceptional technical and creative skills, but also for their integrity, dedication to community, and support of fellow musicians and mission.
The Denver Brass Inc. was formed in 1981 by some of Denver’s finest professional brass musicians who shared a vision to create an all new, one-of-a-kind chamber ensemble, which would be in the forefront of brass performance, entertainment, commissions and education. During the first 5 years, The Denver Brass performed two classical series concerts per year, and up to 10 contracted services including the Carousel Ball, Mayors’ Cup Race, and opening night at the Colorado Ballet. The organization was musician run at that time, there was no paid staff, and musicians accepted pay only for performances and not for rehearsal time. In 1989, The Denver Brass launched its first full-fledged concert season, “Classical Pizzazz,” hired a full-time conductor, and set about to form a board of both business people and musicians who would move the organization to a level commensurate with Denver’s large performing arts institutions. Musicians began to receive professional remuneration and part-time staff was hired. Today, the ensembles of The Denver Brass perform more than 150 services annually: season series, free and low-cost community concerts, educational programs, and tour concerts. Performances are purposely scheduled in a wide variety of venues, from small venues to large concert halls, and productions are designed to enrich the lives of Denver’s diverse community. The Denver Brass, one of the top 25 cultural attractions in Denver, is a 2008 recipient of the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
In their rationale statement for funding of The Denver Brass, The Denver Foundation stated: “The Denver Brass produces music and live performances of superior quality. They are a cultural gem for the greater Denver area with a growing regional, national, and international reputation. They have excellent management skills in addition to the high quality of their artistry. They are deliberate in their efforts to reach out to under-served populations and to work with youth. They are a major success story attributable to the partnership of sound management, excellent artistic ability, and stable support.”
The Denver Brass continues to work diligently and methodically to increase outreach and exposure, not just to be heard or appreciated, but to give inspiration, pleasure, and sustenance to as many people as possible.
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