Manhattan Brass Quintet evokes raves of the rock idol variety wherever 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 stresses that he and his four colleagues happen to be trained as classical musicians, but they share the musical zest of the teens and twenty somethings attending the shows of theirs.
Audiences react enthusiastically because all five members are passionate and young very about presenting a unique perspective of classical music all over the world to people who might not even like it. They tour no less than ten months of the year as well as spend part of that time performing for students and presenting master classes. Because they bring humor to the stage and also get every person involved, audiences discover that classical music can be fun.
Witt’s colleagues are very first trumpeter Bobby Thorp, second trumpeter Eric Braunstein, French hornist Jon Hurrell and tuba participant Tristan Eggener. All studied with noted teachers and also have advanced degrees from major universities and conservatories. Although they’re known mainly as classical musicians, all have performed as well as shot with major artists in types ranging from jazz, swing and blues to bop, funk and ska that they incorporate in their concerts.
They’re based in Boston where 2 members studied at Boston Faculty under users of the celebrated Empire Brass, but their routine helps to keep them on the road most of the entire year. During a recent tour to Germany and Austria, they produced videos of their performances in historic halls that will probably be out there in late summer.
Witt, like the other users of Synergy Bass, found his love of music as a youngster. As a result, they like to include visits to hometown schools right where they perform and will provide a system for Fairfax pupils while in town. Growing up in Southwest Virginia, Witt gravitated to soul and blues music, but didn’t care for the twangy state vocalizations. He was participating in the saxophone in his high school band when the teacher asked him to change over to trombone to compensate for the lack of lower brass instruments.
In addition to their concerts and educational outreach visits to colleges and schools, Synergy was the quintet-in-residence at the Boston Tanglewood Institute and has performed on NPR and at significant music festivals, among them the Ravinia Festival, Bethlehem Musikfest, the Festival de Musica de Camara de Aguascalientes in Mexico as well as the Tanglewood Music Festival. Each summer they do a Brass Camp in Dallas, Texas