Empire Strikes Brass

Empire Strikes Brass

 Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Empire Strikes Brass has the force. With their 10 piece stage band, 7 piece combo, electronic set with DJ Push/Pull, and second line parade, they're the most versatile band in the land. Artists include members from Squirrel Nut Zippers, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown.


Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the Empire Strikes Brass is a New Orleans 2nd line style brass band that is determined to bring funk, rock, and a lot of energy to your local venue, city streets, festival and beyond. ESB has shared events and the stage with Warren Haynes, Beats Antique, Dumpstaphunk, Papadosio, and Big Sam's Funky Nation to name a few. The Empire Strikes Brass is MUCH MORE than a 2nd line street band. 

Empire Strikes Brass was formed in April of 2012---the first and only 2nd line brass band in Asheville. A gumbo of musicians from bands such as the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Firecracker Jazz Band, Common Foundation, and Kung Fu Dynamite (just to name a few), the ESB core group consists of saxophonist, Paul Juhl; sousaphone, trumpet, Henry Westmoreland; cornet, Jay Widenhouse; drums, Jay Good; saxophone, vocals, Debrissa McKinney; trombone, Alex Kelly: trombone, tuba, JP Furnas---with special guests appearing often.

Original to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the band owes its style to the colorful culture, funky flair, and music of New Orleans. Bands like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic, The Funky Meters, and Dr. John have been their influence. When they march through the downtown streets of Asheville, their funky sound spontaneously pulls people into the streets to join the dancing and musical celebration that is the Empire Strikes Brass.