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Downtown Detroit to get crashed with impromptu shows from six nationally renowned brass bands

Detroit Party

No matter where you are in downtown Detroit on July 18 listen carefully. There will be music anywhere as Detroit becomes become a musical Mecca for the brass band set when performers from as far as Atlanta, Austin and Boston converge on Motown for a unique experience.

1795555_274212046073179_7427761149997777859_nThe Detroit Party Marching Band will host the Crash Detroit festival, a day full of impromptu brass band playing from six nationally praised bands. It’s part of the inaugural Crash Detroit Music & Art Festival.

“A festival like this has never been attempted in Detroit,” says festival organizer James Hartrick. “We’re taking music back where it belongs, out of the concert hall and into the community. All attending will be blown away, as will the unsuspecting Detroiters on the streets.”

The festival will connect bands from across the country and build upon the rich culture of music in Detroit, says Crash Detroit’s website. The festival is a celebration of place that aims to give life to underused spaces in Detroit and promote local business.

More than 100 musicians will be scattered throughout the city giving a musical surprise to patrons, bar-goers, passers-by or anyone else who might they come in contact with.   The mysterious concert schedules will be held in the strictest confidence, but they will take place between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm.  You can keep track of the goings on as they occur on Twitter @Crash_Detroit.

“This is a huge part of the mission of the Crash Festival,” says Hartrick. “Bringing live music into unexpected places creates a sense of joy and wonder, and these musicians are known throughout the country for their ability to wow and move crowds.”

There will be a more traditional type of music performance at Roosevelt Park with a concert from 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm on July 19.  This is also hosted by The Crash Detroit Festival.

The free concert at Roosevelt Park, at Michigan Ave, and 14th street, has a host of scheduled performers. Here’s the schedule:

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM, BlueLine Brass Band

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM, Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM, May Day Marching Band

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM, Minor Mishap

5:00 PM – 5:45 PM, Black Bear Combo

5:45 PM – 6:30 PM, Environmental Encroachment

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM, Black Sheep Ensemble

7:15 PM – 8:00 PM, Detroit Party Marching Band

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Mucca Pazza


Mucca Pazza

One of the most anticipated bands of the festival is Mucca Pazza, who appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and at the Kentucky Derby. They’ve supported major national acts and performed at numerous national music festivals like Lollapalooza, Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors and the Montreal Jazz Fest. Having worked with choreographers, filmmakers and theatrical groups, as well as performing in art museums around the country, Mucca Pazza is as comfortable in the fine arts and performance art world as the local rock club, or parking lot. The musicians call a parking lot along the Chicago River their birth place and may have gathered so much praise because they combine marching band sensibilities with rock music and put it all into a street theater experience package.  The band is a darling of the Chicago underground scene.

Black Sheep

Black Sheep

Atlanta is lending the high-energy Black Sheep Ensemble to Detroit for the show.  This group is made up of street performers and musicians and has been known to have people become a part of their shows.

Black Bear Combo

Black Bear Combo

Balkan brass, punk rock and free jazz came together to give birth to another of the acts, Black Bear Combo. This group has played rock clubs and weddings and is also the most well-known and beloved place to find brass band playing has embraced their Eastern European infused music … The Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. They’ve also played at a couple of Halloween celebrations at the White House in every nook and corner of Chicago.  You will dance.


Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band

“Raucous, stomp-your-foot-and-belt-out-the-choruses,” have all been used to describe the 30-piece band called the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band. These Massachusetts natives like to channel the 60s by combing social action with their musical craft.  They call peace rallies, street festivals, parades and benefits their most comfortable stomping grounds.



The BlueLine Brass Band is a more local group, hailing from U of M. The combination of ska, hip hop and traditional New Orleans music round out BlueLine’s sound. They’ve played everything from house parties to official functions in the Big House. The group also supports music education and often performs outreach concerts at schools.

Environmental Enchrochment

Environmental Encroachment

Costumes, antics and the usual marching band styles make Environmental Encroachment a less ordinary experience, with it being said that their goal is to create a playground.

Minor Mishap combines street music, brass bands and spectacle to be what has been described as a 25-piece renegade circus-punk-brass band. It’s Bourbon Street meets Budapest or as D0512, the Austin, Texas event site, puts it “it’s as if all the hooligans that got kicked out of marching band for their boisterousness and punk rock covers came together and formed a circus-punk-brass band.”

Detroit Party

Detroit Party Marching Band,

Minor Mishap

Minor Mishap

Hometown favorites, the Detroit Party Marching Band, is made up of 25+ musicians who since their origin in 2010 have used unamplified horn blasts and impromptu performances to make a name for themselves as well as spread their love for their city.  They have been featured in New York Times, French Vogue, The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press.

Detroit continues to make a name for itself in the music world. Even with, or perhaps because of, unique ideas Motown continues to be synonymous with music far beyond just that with which it shares a name.

Want to get involved? To volunteer or have a musician stay at your house, send an email to

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