PitchBlak Brass Band
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PitchBlak Brass Band

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Hip Hop Jazz




"Photographer highlights top shows from Savannah Stopover"

3. PitchBlak Brass Band at The Jinx

By the time I placed myself near the stage to shoot this showcase, I was exhausted and a bit jaded. At first glance, the members of Pitchblak Brass Band look like a high school marching band and with their youthful appearance, I was a bit confused. Then they began to play. I have never seen a tuba rock as hard as it did during this performance. They are talented and experienced musicians with a fusion of sounds that is incomparable. - Do Savannah

"Premiere of "Burr Lioz""

Introducing 10 new faces to hip-hop, PitchBlak Brass Band is transforming the genre with creative expertise. This diverse collective of young musicians add a fresh presence to the modern brass band scene, a vibrant undercurrent of New York City.PitchBlak Brass Band’s unique style has landed them gigs at Le Poisson Rouge, Joe’s Pub, CMJ Music Marathon, the Kennedy Center, and three shows at Brooklyn Bowl. Check Out PitchBlak Brass Band’s “Doppelgänger” official video.

PitchBlak Brass Band is Chanell Crichlow (Sousaphone), Alison Shearer (Saxophone), Bryan Walters (Trumpet/MC), Brian Lotze (Trumpet/MC),T.J. Robinson (Trombone/MC), Alaina Alster (Trombone), Max Sholl (Trombone), Ben Brody (Guitar/Horn), Chris Johnson (Percussion/MC) and Ashley Baier (Drums).With impressively varied musical backgrounds, the members of PitchBlak Brass Band have excelled in their individual music careers. From earning music degrees from some of the nation’s most esteemed conservatories such as Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music, to playing major performing arts centers across the nation such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, these virtuosos bring their individual talents to the studio and stage to form a cohesive and collaborative supreme sound. - Wax Poetics

"Getting Deep & Breaking Rules"

In New York, the classically
trained tubaist Chanell Crichlow
formed the hip-hop-meets-brass
ensemble Pitchblak Brass Band in 2010
as a way of plugging into what she felt
was a neglected element of her cultural heritage.
“We’d all heard New Orleans
brass bands … it comes from that culture,” Crichlow says, referring to the
Manhattan School of Music alumni in her band. “But I did classical
music and I thought, ‘I’m a black person and I need to get reconnected with
my roots.’ And I wanted to connect to
black music through hip-hop because
it stems from blues and jazz.”
So she gathered a handful of artists who were willing to take some
risks: Pitchblak percussionist and
emcee Chris Johnson also works as
a classical bass player; guitarist Ben
Brody plays classical French horn; and
about half the group wrote the original music that appears on their debut
album, You See Us.
“Everyone is pushing themselves
to do things they didn’t do in conservatory,” says Crichlow.
“This music is from the heart and
is less about accuracy. It’s about interacting with people in a person-to-person way. There’s no boundary between
you and the audience. It’s about that
immediate connection to a person two
steps away from you.”
Despite that conceptual similarity
to New Orleans brass bands,
Pitchblak’s execution is all its own.
Unison lines and the kind of gloss
found on hip-hop studio recordings
dominate Pitchblak’s sound, even
when they play live. And though their
rap vocals are sometimes removed
for the purpose of parading during a
show, the rhymes have more in common with spoken word than with the
more chant-oriented lyrics that turn
up in many New Orleans brass bands’
In fact, when it comes to her influences for Pitchblak, Crichlow first cites
the Madison, Wis.-based Youngblood Brass Band and its tuba player, Nat
McIntosh. - DownBeat Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



PitchBlak Brass Band is a Brooklyn-based 10-piece band whose style and sound represents hip-hop from the 1980s to present day. A collective of young musicians, composers and artists, PitchBlak embodies the contemporary and vibrant undercurrents of New York City. PitchBlak’s members have incredibly diverse musical backgrounds, allowing them to infuse hip-hop driven music with anything under the sun. For more info, visit www.pitchblakbrassband.com.

Band Members