Sacramento’s Element Brass Band will make you MOVE! Element are one of the premier bands on the West Coast for New Orleans Second Line. They bring the spirit, love, and energy of Mardi Gras every time they play. Element's music attracts people of all ages and walks of life. The band recently released a new album called, “Cali Got A Brass Band,” comprised of all original music. Element Brass Band has toured New Orleans, New York City and Atlanta. Element has performed at festivals like High Sierra, Guitarfish, & For The Funk Of It. Element Brass Band has also played at many venues in the bay area including the Fillmore, the New Parish, the Independent, the Elbo Room, Club Amnesia, Starline Social Club, Mr. Tipples, and they have become regulars at the Boom Boom Room over the years. Element has shared stages and shows with artists like GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, The California Honeydrops, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Blackalicious, Andy Frasco, Turkuaz, A Tribe Called Red, Angelo Moore of Fishbone, New Kingston, DJ Logic, Katdelic, Wil Blades, and many, many others.
When Sacramento trumpeter Ryan Robertson traveled to New Orleans in 2010 he knew he had found a new home and calling. Robertson immersed himself in New Orleans' rich culture and became fascinated with the the music he discovered. He quickly began finding work with local brass bands and began going deep into Second Line music. When Robertson returned to his hometown of Sacramento in 2011, he brought the music of New Orleans with him. Upon his return, he rallied some of Sacramento's top aspiring musicians, and the Element Brass Band was born. Robertson could not get New Orleans out of his blood and soon returned to the Crescent City to further his musical career, and passed the band-leading responsibilites to Byron Colborn.
Second line is a long standing tradition with brass band parades, born out of New Orleans. The tradition is rooted in post-Civil War America with musical ties and lineage dating back to early West African culture. The main line, also known as the first line, is the first section in a brass band parade. The first line is led by members of the respective club who hold a parading permit. In the first line of the parade you will also find the brass band. Those who follow behind the parade to dance and enjoy the music are known as the second line; this means YOU! Second line parades generally lack the slower hymns and solemn music of "jazz funerals," also a common tradition in New Orleans. The second line style of traditional dance, known as "second lining," includes exaggerated movements, loose coordination, and a freedom of interpretation. Brightly colored parasols and handkerchiefs being held high are common to brass band parades. Second line music represents freedom, history and celebration of life itself!
Element Brass Band has been performing live hop in addition to second line since the band began. The band even has their own resident emcee, Doolow (aka Dan The Man). West Coast hip hop is one of the many styles that Element's band members grew up on, and it is only natural for it to come out when they are on stage! Element Brass Band has worked with some of the best emcees that Sacramento has to offer through events like "FLOW" and "The Most Open Mic in the City." Element has a unique and spontaneous platform at these events where the emcees that join the band are not told what will be played behind them prior to the beat being dropped. The challenge of freestyling with a live brass band keeps emcees on their toes and makes for some amazing music in the moment. In addition to supporting emcees Element also enjoys fusing hip hop with New Orleans second line. When an audience member listens closely they will often hear west coast hip hop being played as a background to a horn players' solo, or snuck in the music in other ways.