Manhattan Brass Quintet evokes raves of the rock idol variety right where the dynamic brass quintet performs. Their “Christmas in Brass” concert imparts an extraordinary flavor to Bach choral works, Handel’s “Messiah,” classic Christmas carols along with seasonal favorites.
Trombonist Jordan Witt from bluegrass nation in Big Stone Gap, Virginia draws attentions to that he and his 4 colleagues were trained as classical musicians, but they talk about the musical zest of the adolescents and twenty somethings attending their shows.
Audiences react enthusiastically because all five members are very young and passionate about presenting a unique perspective of classical music throughout the world to people who may not even love it. They tour at the very least 10 months of the year and spend part of that time performing for students and giving master classes. Because they bring humor to the stage and get everybody involved, audiences discover that classical music can be fun.
Witt’s colleagues are first trumpeter Bobby Thorp, second trumpeter Eric Braunstein, French hornist Jon Hurrell and tuba player Tristan Eggener. All studied with noted coaches and have advanced degrees from major conservatories and universities. Although they’re known mostly as classical musicians, all have performed as well as shot with huge artists in types ranging from jazz, blues and swing to bop, funk and ska that they incorporate in their concerts.
They’re based in Boston where 2 members studied at Boston Faculty under people of the celebrated Empire Brass, however their agenda keeps them on the road most of the year. During a recent tour to Germany and Austria, they produced video clips of the performances of theirs in historic halls that are going to be out in late summer.
Witt, like the other members of Synergy Bass, found his love of music as a youngster. Because of this, they love to include visits to hometown schools right where they perform and will provide a method for Fairfax students while in town. Growing up in Southwest Virginia, Witt gravitated to soul and blues music, but did not take care of the twangy state vocalizations. He was playing the saxophone within his high school band when the teacher asked him to switch to trombone to make up for the absence of low brass instruments.
Along with the concerts of theirs and educational outreach trips to schools and colleges, Synergy was the quintet-in-residence at the Boston Tanglewood Institute and has carried out on NPR and at significant music festivals, among them the Ravinia Festival, Bethlehem Musikfest, the Festival de Musica de Camara de Aguascalientes in Mexico and the Tanglewood Music Festival. Each summer they conduct a Brass Camp in Dallas, Texas