Brass Band Blowout promotes bond between city’s youth, music scene

Julia Engel, Staff Reporter

The Howlin’ Wolf will host The Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund’s 7th annual Brass Band Blowout 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund has aimed to culturally enrich the lives and education of New Orleans youth since March 2007, just months after Dinerral Shavers, an iconic jazz drummer in the Hot 8 Brass Band, was murdered. Dinerral Shavers was an educator and band director at L.E. Rabouin High School, a New Orleans Civil Sheriff and an entrepreneur who wanted to help New Orleans youth.

DSEF has aimed to continue Dinerral Shavers’ mission of bettering the lives of New Orleans children by awarding them with opportunities via scholarship, education, music, culture and the arts in an effort to counter the culture of violence that is ever present in many New Orleans communities.

Because Shavers was a key component of the Hot 8 Brass Band, the group plays an integral role in the Blowout each year, headlining the show and bringing together many other New Orleans brass bands.

“We’ve been in just about every one the’ve had,” Sean Michael Roberts, lead trumpet player of To Be Continued Brass Band, said. “A lot of people come out for the foundation, and it’s a really good thing.”

In years past, DSEF’s Brass Band Blowout has drawn large and exuberant crowds, gaining great attention for both the bands involved and the cause they are playing for.

“Being a New Orleans musician, I pretty much know everybody who’s playing music,” Roberts said. “We have a good relationship; a lot of us are like brothers. There’s a lot of camaraderie that comes along with it, especially between us and the Hot 8 [Brass Band].”

These close musical relationships add to the passionate and creative performances at The Blowout and provide a truly entertaining show. Roberts said there is much collaboration between the bands, that To Be Continued has been inspired heavily by the music of Hot 8.

The event receives a huge amount of internal support, with Dinerral Shavers’ sister Nakita recruiting bands to play in the event each year.

With other performances by Free Agents Brass Band and Most Wanted Brass Band, as well as the New Orleans Mardis Gras Indians and T. Cherelle, the Blowout should bring great sounds, heavy crowds and good times once again.