Loud, raucous, and full of fun, the Expandable Brass Band is dedicated to spreading joyful music to the people of Western Massachusetts and beyond.
Inspired by the international street band movement, we want to spread that joy of playing in the street both for the fun of it and in support of others working on important social issues, especially in our community. We are most excited about playing in streets, in parks, parades, on the sidewalk, and anywhere the audience is close and at our level. If we march, they can join us; if they march, we can join them! We strive to be up, moving, and interactive. We are completely self-organized, without a leadership hierarchy. Most of all, we are expandable, welcoming all and becoming what our members want us to be.
We perform throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, whenever enough members agree to an event. We most enjoy spreading music in unexpected places, and we’re happy to add a soundtrack to community events and social causes our members support.
We welcome all to join us—that’s what being expandable means. Whether you play a traditional marching band instrument or an untraditional one; whether you’re a professional musician, a lapsed amateur, or a complete novice; whether you play by ink or by ear, there’s a place for you in the Expandable Brass Band. Please contact us or speak to a member at a performance for more details.
The Expandable Brass Band was conceived in the fires of HONK! 2009. A percussionist who had recently come to the U.S. to study, and who had played with street bands at home, was inspired by HONK! to start looking for opportunities to play. A trumpet player who had stumbled, unawares, onto HONK! decided he wanted to do that too, whatever the hell that was. With the help of a HONK! band member from New York who had recently moved to Northampton, the two musicians met, conspired, put up flyers all over, emailed musician friends and generally spread the word that a street band was forming. To their delight, about 20 musicians responded. Additionally, someone from the Northampton Pride March asked if the not yet formed band could join the parade! At the first meeting, they discovered others who had been to HONK!, played in other street bands and were just as excited as they were about playing this music and hopefully finding a way to use the music to draw attention to important issues in the community.