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Buzz Brass Quintet Delights Stettler Audiences

BUzz Brass
Frédéric Gagnon with a piccolo trumpet. Image: Stettler Local December 4, 2023 at 6:00 pm

Two things immediately strike you when you first hear the Montreal-based Buzz Brass quintet.

The first is how versatile and smooth the brass instruments sound, and the second is how funny these musicians are.

"J.S. Bach married twice and had twenty kids," said founder and trumpeter Sylvan LaPointe at a concert on December 3, 2023. "Come breakfast, you would need one heck of a toaster."

In between musical selections, the quintet shared "Fun Facts" about classical music composers – "Franz Liszt was a rock star before rock music was invented" – and taught a little history. (It wasn't until the 1820s that valves for brass instruments were developed.)

Buzz Brass quintet
Buzz Brass quintet at Stettler's PAC. Image: Stettler Local

Their name, "Buzz", relates to the buzzing of a musician's lips when playing a brass instrument.

The quintet is comprised of two trumpets, two trombones, and a French horn.

"There is no tuba because it won't fit in our truck," joked LaPointe.

The program was divided into two parts. The first half was a collection of classical music, called "Famous Inspirations", while the second half featured Christmas selections.

"Today's special is a mix of two programs we don't normally mix," said LaPointe. "In other words, a Prairie Special."

It's no surprise that this quintet is award-winning. Their music is fluid and effortless, and the mood of the concert ranged from mellow to rousing.

For example, they made Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" sound like it was written specifically for brass.

According to trumpeter Frédéric Gagnon, there is one crucial thing a person needs to play brass.

"You must have great style," he said.

Buzz Brass played two shows at Stettler PAC on December 3, 2023. The next Stettler Showcase will feature The Charms on Sunday, January 28, 2024.

Stettler Local editor

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