We were exhausted as the set ended with the band’s trademark medleys, but if the lads had asked us to do it all again, we would have jumped at the chance– In Dublin
Booka Brass Band are a group of eight musicians that span the length and breadth of Ireland stretching from Belfast all the way to Cork.
Formed in November 2012, since then they have quickly gone from strength to strength on the live music scene in Ireland. With regular shows in venues all over Dublin including The Sugar Club, Whelan’s and Twisted Pepper, alongside stomping sets to festival crowds at Electric Picnic, Sea Sessions and Longitude, their unique offering and incredible live energy has brought them an unusual level of success in their first year together.
Booka Brass Band have developed their sound and set up over the last twelve months through a succession of great opportunities, all well deserved and well executed. They have also grown in size, now containing seven members consisting of two trumpets, two trombones, saxophone, sousaphone and drums. With six band members still full-time students, they also stretch the length and breadth of the country coming from Cork all the way to Belfast, studying everything from medicine to law. Classically trained, the band also brings a great understanding of classical harmony which can be heard behind the beats of their original tunes.
In the past few months they have opened shows for New Orleans own Hot 8 Brass Band and the critically acclaimed Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. They've also collaborated with some of Ireland's biggest acts including Jerry Fish and Lisa Hannigan on the back of their eleventh hour set at Turning Pirate's New Year’s Eve Mixtape at Vicar Street.
‘If you can only take in one new act this festival season, make it Booka Brass Band’ – The Irish Independent
"Massive Attack may have been the big draw of Sunday night and they didn't disappoint ….. however little did anyone know but the performance of the whole weekend was taking place on the festival's smallest stage, the Speakeasy Dirty Old Town. Booka Brass Band, Ireland's only New Orleans style eight-piece brass band are undoubtedly a “have to see it to believe it” type of act. A range of high energy self-penned tunes combined with quite incredible covers of Jason Derulo's Talk Dirty and Beyonce's Crazy In Love have those in attendance screaming for more as they leave the stage. Alas, stage hands said there was to be no more and so after much protesting, Booka Brass took the crowd out into the fields and continued playing into the night. It was a moment which summed up Longitude in one foul swoop."
– In Dublin Magazine
Since their first sold out show in the Button Factory where they collaborated with Jerry Fish and Lisa Hannigan, the band have been all over Ireland and beyond, with shows at Glastonbury Festival, main stage Body and Soul, headlining Knockanstockan and Barn Dance Festival, opening for Imelda May and being invited to play for The President in Áras an Uachtaráin.
'Booka bleedin’ Brass Band; hoor a birra trombone inta ye'– Golden Plec