With a sound best described as hip-hop-funk ‘til you drop jazz, New Orleans-based ensemble, The Soul Rebels, have been mesmerizing audiences for more than twenty-seven years with their uncanny ability to infuse the sounds of traditional brass with elements of hip-hop, jazz, funk and rock. The eight-piece group, which began with the idea of blending traditional brass with the music of their own generation, has spent much of the last few years touring four continents and collaborating with or supporting such artists as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars and Lauryn Hill.
In addition to working on a new album, the group is also geared up for another run of dates, including back to back performances at Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World Festival and the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York on Saturday, July 21.
AXS recently caught up with The Soul Rebels’ founding member, Lumar LeBlanc and trumpeter, Julian Gosin, to ask them about the group, songwriting and more in this exclusive new interview.
AXS: How did The Soul Rebels come about?
Lumar LeBlanc: The Soul Rebels started back in 1991. We were originally part of the family from Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band; a traditional, historic, brass band from New Orleans who wanted to have junior members carry on their tradition. We were playing the music that was prescribed to us, but we also had this other urge to play music that was connected to our generation: the funk music from Earth Wind & Fire and James Brown and from the emergence of rap and hip-hop. We’re revolutionizing the sound of brass band music in a positive way.
AXS: Julian, how did you become involved in the project?
Julian Gosin: Prior to joining, I had always been coming around the band for years. I got acquainted with the guys and was always a fan. I had even played a few gigs with them. So, when a position became available, it was just an easy, natural fit.
AXS: How would you describe the sound of The Soul Rebels’ music?
JG: It’s very organic and rich with soul. There’s a lot of freedom in the music and there are no barriers.
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Interview with The Soul Rebels by Clicking Here!