Black Sheep Brass Band
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Black Sheep Brass Band

Santa Rosa, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008

Santa Rosa, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Jazz Funk




"Back in Brass"

Over the past eight years, Sonoma County's Black Sheep Brass Band has evolved from alley-way buskers to a band of brothers performing throughout the Bay Area. This year, the band sets out on its most ambitious tour yet, packing all 12 members into a van and traversing the Pacific Northwest in support of their debut self-titled album.

In the North Bay, Black Sheep Brass Band plays Petaluma's rollicking Rivertown Revival festival on July 16 alongside acts like Frankie Boots & the County Line, Highway Poets, the Crux and others.

Formed by songwriter and musical arranger Maxwell Church in 2008 and originally known as Jungle Love Orchestra, the brass band was a casual project until about four years ago when word of mouth led to regular gigs and the lineup solidified into a dozen-man roster of talented players.

"Our focus and thinking has changed over time," says alto sax player Chris Cory. "Max wants to push it as far as it can go." Noticing an uptick in interest for old-time brass-band music, Cory says that Church and the rest of the Sheep are ready to take their music to the next level.

"We've got a group of people with musical experience, talent and dedication to the craft," says Cory.

This past winter, the Black Sheep Brass Band gathered in Cory's Santa Rosa warehouse space to record their long awaited self-titled debut, a funky and jazzy collection of original tunes and a few Dixieland standards that evoke New Orleans street parades and Preservation Hall soirees.

This weekend's appearance at Rivertown Revival is the band's first show since returning from their tour. The annual avant-garde festival celebrates local flair with music, art boat races, creative artisans and family fun. Taking the stage twice, at 3:30pm and 6pm, the band is ready to party.

"It's great to be back," says Cory. "We're recharged and the fire has returned."

The Rivertown Revival takes place along McNear Peninsula in Steamer Landing Park, 6 Copeland St., Petaluma. 11am. $5–$10. - North Bay Bohemian

"Black Sheep Brass Band"

Onstage with Jim & Tom welcomes Black Sheep Brass Band to the stage at the Phoenix Theater for an interview and performance on 3/21/17.

We talk about their origin, staying true to your authentic self, growing pains they’ve experienced, avoiding attachment, managing expectations, the importance of polarity, and much more.

Livin’ It Up/Lovin’ It Up
The Ram, Ewe Love
Butter ‘N Beans
All the Best Ways (feat. Soul Glitch)
Shot the Phunkin’ Phone (feat. King Kitty)

Recorded at at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, CA.

Camera operators: Ryan Grae, Timmy Lodhi, Max Brickey, Jim Agius

Audio mixing: Paul Haile |

Video editing: Jim Agius & Timmy Lodhi - Onstage with Jim & Tom Podcast/Vlog

"Creative Sonoma musician workshop helps musicians break into the business"

Artists, including musicians, typically don’t have the money or resources to promote themselves.

In the old days, before streaming, musicians trying to break into the business would cut a demo record, stuff the album sleeve with money — payola — and give it to radio disc jockeys. Hopefully, a song would get the attention of a record company.

“Today it’s dramatically different,” said David Helfant an entertainment lawyer whose clients have included Van Halen, Yes, Columbia Pictures, The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm, to name a few. “There’s no one answer, or everyone would be doing it.”

Helfant was speaking at Creative Sonoma’s Next Level Music Industry Conference on May 7 at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Creative Sonoma, established in 2014, is a division of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board that supports area artists with workshops, grants and special projects.

Today, breaking into the business requires diligence and/or a viral movement on YouTube.

“There is a tipping point, and for whatever reason, you might get lucky with something everyone pays attention to,” Helfant said. “Everyone has an opportunity to get to the next level, they just don’t know what they (the opportunities) are. It could be a total fluke but grab it.”

There are certain things musicians can and should do, however.

Recording executives and talent buyers look at social media, especially Facebook numbers. They want to know if a musican has an active fan base, which would equate ticket or music sales. They no longer go with a gut feeling about an unknown band.

“Now, they take calculated risks versus chances,” Helfant said.

Sheila Groves-Tracey is a talent buyer to a long list of music festivals that have included Napa’s BottleRock. She also books McNear’s Mystic Theater in Petaluma, Uptown Theatre Napa and others.

She said she looks at Facebook numbers and other factors and “rarely makes a decision that comes from the heart.”

Ninety-nine percent of Groves-Tracey’s bookings she does via emails.

“Don’t take offense if I don’t respond,” she said. “Send three short, straight to the point emails, then call. Don’t be afraid to call.”

Groves-Tracey also advised bands to be honest about how large of a room they can fill.

“Don’t say you’re going to pack the house when you can’t. When it doesn’t fill, I won’t book you again,” she said.

Patrick Malone books acts at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol.

“If you can’t sell 200 tickets, partner and pool with other bands,” he said. “Before cutting your teeth on bigger venues, focus on selling out the smallest bar in town on the slowest night and even be prepared to lose money.”

Local musicians can, however, find a hand up through Creative Sonoma grant money. Each year a handful of musicians receive $2,500 to move their career forward. Grantees are also given one on one counseling with experts in the industry.

“It brought everyone in the band on the same page,” said one of last year’s winners, Mark Tarlton of Bootleg Honey. “We said ‘What is our goal?’ We identified what we need to do in six months and in a year. Our music got better.”

The Black Sheep Brass Band used the money to create a video for a contest for National Public Radio.

“It brings everything into focus,” said band member Chris Cory. “It was highly motivating and pulled the band together and made us more coherent. It helped with discipline, it was a big lift for us.”

Helfant also advised musicians to join The Recording Academy, an organization of musicians and recording professionals that holds mixers and seminars, showcases talent, and presents the Grammy Awards. Membership is $100 per year.

Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at or call 707-521-4259. - The North Bay Business Journal

"Railroad Square Music Festival 2017"

The Third annual Railroad Square Music Festival is coming! From 12pm to 7pm on Sunday, June 11th this FREE event celebrates and shines a spotlight on the North Bay creative community with a day of music in the heart of Santa Rosa - Historic Railroad Square.

This multi-stage event will feature over 15 performers. Hometown hero, David Luning will headline along with Santa Rosa’s tone king John Courage, female lead powerhouses B and the Hive (formerly B and The Hive), San Francisco’s multilingual multi-genre La Gente SF, rising alt pop stars Lungs and Limbs, sick/tight power trio Sharkmouth. Swingin’ Dixie 8 piece Earles of Newtown, Whiskey fueled boot stompers The Timothy O'Neil Band, Oakland based soul trio Token Girl and Cosmic marching rabble rousers Black Sheep Brass Band!

This year the festival is bigger and better than ever! The businesses of Historic Railroad Square are opening their doors to live music with events before, after and during the outdoor festival where you can cool off inside at:

The Another World Is Possible Coalition Songwriter Show
chillhop/jazzfunk Eki Shola

The La Gare French Restaurant Speakeasy
Harmonic heartfelt trio The Real Sarahs
Highway poet frontman Sebastian Saint James
Spirited Singer Songwriter Miss Jarvis

The Cast Away + Folk Jamboree
Sonoma County Staple Kevin Russell & Some Friends

To add to the flavor, local surrounding businesses and The West End Farmers Market will host acoustic performers. There will be an area for families and local food as well as Sonoma County’s premier circus troupe CircusMaximus.

The mission of the Railroad Square Music Festival is to expand our local music community by bringing more music to new people, to encourage our local performers to shoot for the stars, and to show that the North Bay is a vibrant cultural and artistic hub.

Voted “Best Outdoor Music Festival” by readers of the North Bay Bohemian, The Railroad Square Music Festival continues to be a uniquely Sonoma County event by produced by locals for lovers of creative diversity. The festival will feature the release of the Out There Sessions compilation CD, recorded at John Courage’s all analog Gremlintone studios featuring 13 local performers, many of them being RSMF alumni and performers from this year. As always musicians and patrons can enjoy hoppy fuel from Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Co or the storied wine of Virginia Dare Winery sourced from the Russian River Valley.

The event is presented by The North Bay Hootenanny and is produced by Second Octave Entertainment.

A BIG thank you to our 2017 sponsors Lagunitas Petaluma TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary, Santa Rosa, California, Virginia Dare Winery, SOMO Village, Barley and Hops Tavern, West End Farmers Market, Bottle Barn, The Krush-KRSH, North Bay Bohemian, KRCB FM Radio 91, Sonoma County Gazette and Sonoma Cider! - Do the Bay

"Tiny Desk Contest On the Road"

Join KRCB, KQED, NPR Music and Lagunitas Brewing Company for a celebration of the Tiny Desk Contest community in Petaluma! This event will feature a live performance by 2017 Tiny Desk Contest winners Tank and the Bangas, as well as some of our favorite local artists who entered the Contest this year:
Royal Jelly Jive
Diana Gameros
Black Sheep Brass Band
More than 6,000 unsigned bands and artists entered NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, our search to find a great undiscovered talent to perform at the most famous desk in music. Our judges picked one winner, but in the process, we found many new musicians to fall in love with, and countless reasons to celebrate all the creativity tucked away in communities across the country.

Now, NPR Music and Lagunitas Brewing Company, the sponsor of the Tiny Desk Contest since its launch in 2014, are teaming up with our friends at KQED and KRCB to bring Tank and the Bangas and the Tiny Desk Contest tour to Petaluma.

Registration is required for this event. You can register below.

Event entry for ticket holders is first come, first serve. Admittance not guaranteed.

THIS EVENT IS 21+ - NPR Presents


1. Intro 
2. The Ram, Ewe Love
3. Livin It Up/Lovin It Up
4. All the Best Ways (feat. Soul Glitch)
5. Butter N Beans
6. Shot the Phunkin Phone (feat. King Kitty)



Recently recognized by the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series, Black Sheep Brass Band has been referred to as "purveyors of over-sized sounds". With horns, saxophones, and drums that get people moving and grooving on any occasion, BSBB has continued to receive recognition for their funky, original tunes. Established in 2008, BSBB had the honor of being recently selected by NPR to perform alongside Tank and the Bangas, during their National Tour stop in Petaluma, CA - 2017.  

​Black Sheep Brass Band is stoked for the future as 2017 and 2018 have been increasingly successful adventures into the field of BRASSfedFUNK. Filled with service projects, awards, fundraisers, and incredible concert opportunities, BSBB have been privileged with the opportunity to grow each subsequent year. In 2017, the band finished their original EP (funded by winning the Creative Sonoma Grant). They were publicly recognized by NPR, embarked on two West Coast tours - to Southern California in February and then to the Pacific Northwest in June. BSBB performed at four different festivals, and played a variety of other gigs - large and small. From private weddings and seminars in Silicon Valley, to intimate clubs and festivals, BSBB has averaged 3 gigs a month, totaling over 35 gigs this past year. BSBB has performed another 30+ gigs in 2018, and have booked and successfully completed their first International Tour, which was to Guatemala in March of 2018 (see videos in gallery). 

With their diverse gig history and refined BRASSfedFUNK sound, BSBB is a soulful band, fit to play any event. Their all-acoustic, New Orleans Jazz/Hip Hop marching band influenced style, brings a dance party wherever and whenever - on and off the stage. 

Coming in 2019, the band is excited to continue to expand their music potential and share their unique sound with audiences young to old. 

Band Members