Collegiate Shag Brass Band
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Collegiate Shag Brass Band

Columbia, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

Columbia, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Jazz Funk




"In The Garage"

Eleven members of the Collegiate Shag Brass Band shuffle and squeeze into drummer Taylor Thorne’s cramped basement. The musicians step over instruments and slide by music stands as they try to adjust into their spots.

Band manager and member Kris Scott is inches away from the ceiling with his sousaphone, an instrument in the tuba family. Trumpet players Brandon Hall, Meredith Hammer and Robert Bostic literally rub elbows as they tune their instruments.

Thorne sits at the drums under the windows covered in sound proofing. Across the room Kevin Jerez is stuffed into the corner with his keyboard and a beer by his side. Matt Schmitz, Alex Kirby and Brian Vaughn stand, trombones in hand, in front of an array of photographs that are hung on the wall. Jim Scheffer and Dillon Dains raise their saxophones to their lips and breathe in.

“Let’s play a tune to warm up — ‘War,’” Scott says, referring to their version of a Hypnotic Brass Band piece.

The band named itself after the iconic Southern dance, the Shag, from the ’30s. These band members live up to the name by jittering and jiving to their own tune. “We’re a traditional brass band,” Scott says. “We’ve got the tuba and the drums and the horns. But we play very nontraditional music. We are influenced by current pop, a lot of funk and hip-hop.” They’re also influenced by Youngblood Brass Band, homemade BBQ-filled nights, a love of beer and their annual “brass-bands-aween-givings” — a celebration of both Halloween and Thanksgiving.

These members love one another just as much as the music, and they put in the hours to show it. Most of them have been friends since high school or college, so their brass band roots are deeply embedded. “We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Schmitz says. “One of the biggest powers that be for this band is the fact that we all make personal sacrifices and commitments. We don’t make excuses.”

Founded in August 2006, the band started off performing only cover songs. The May 2013 release of its first album, Live and Let Loose, was a game changer, featuring not only favorite covers but also original pieces written by the band. “We are getting smarter about finding our niche,” Jerez says. “Writing originals, for everyone in the band, just makes it feel so much more concrete. When you have something that is totally yours, you feel a lot more driven to get it out there and work on it.”

With a new album on the horizon and a possible July 2014 tour in the works, the band is groovin’ its way to an instrument-filled future.

This won’t be most of the band members’ first time traveling together. On a trip to New Orleans for a jazz festival in 2006 that featured one of their biggest influences, Trombone Shorty, they stopped in Memphis to hit Beale Street.

“We decided to get our horns out and start walking around to see if anybody wanted to hear some music,” Hammer says. “A lot of different people outside of the clubs would start calling us inside to play.”

As for what happened in New Orleans? That’s a secret they’ll never tell. One thing is for sure. These band members will continue to pile into that cramped basement and sacrifice their ear drums for the sake of the brass and good friends. - Vox

"Home Run: Missouri bands show their stuff at two night fest"

"Collegiate Shag Brass Band has impressed Columbia audiences with its immense wall of sound — the band’s dozen members can raise quite a ruckus — as well its true-hearted musicality. With a little time, the band could be to the local scene what Hazard to Ya Booty is to St. Louis." - Columbia Daily Tribune


Live and Let Loose (2012)

The Bacon Tapes- A Collection of Live Recordings (2014)



A chemistry of coalesced brass and rhythm; happenstance and a fortunate mutual friend network within the University of Missouri- Columbia, MO as the backdrop led to the forming of the Collegiate Shag Brass Band. As early as 2006, Kris Scott was using his sousaphone to make the music he wanted to make; New Orleans-inspired brass coupled with a love of early 90's hip-hop, RnB, and an urgently driving mix of degenerate jazz and rock sensibilities. Scott's and one Dr. Doug Leibinger's insight and collaboration led to the group's initial stretch as a jazz combo at the university for two years, allowing solid friendships and deep insights within varied play styles to take root. Soon after, a definite sound emerged. An original sound, at one moment paying homage to groups like Youngblood Brass Band and the horn lines of NOLA, then nearly simultaneously blasting the g-funk that powered the heaviest beats of West-Coast Rap circa 1990. Not without their smart pop and rock colors, the compositions of this band carry the strongest hooks and big dramatic arrivals, evoking lush harmonies and motivating rhythms. Collegiate Shag, or CSBB, has a presence that looks to become the flagship non-traditional brass band for the Midwest and beyond. Playing with acts such as Shaggy, Galactic, Al Holliday and his Eastside Rhythm Band, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, and Hazard to Ya Booty, the band has begun to form a network and connection with acts already risen and those on the rapid rise. Fostering and advocating Columbia, MO's flourishing music scene and growing venue culture, as well as supporting local, creative musicians is also a personal network CSBB will always focus on.

Band Members