Tijuana Road Trip
When we think of the 1960s, we usually recall a time of upheaval and turmoil at home and around the world. But even in such an era, Americans characteristically found time for fun, and there is no better example of this than the music of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. They burst onto the scene in 1962 with a new song called The Lonely Bull, which was inspired by the brassy sounds and excitement that Herb Alpert had witnessed at a bullfight in Tijuana, Mexico. The totally new and unique style that developed from these beginnings was a combination of equal parts American pop and Mexican mariachi, with a bit of mainstream jazz, a touch of Dixieland, and a pinch of bossa nova, sprinkled with various other ethnic flavors and a dash of good humor. People were soon drawn to this new sound with it's refreshingly upbeat spirit, and many other hit songs were to follow. In fact, the only artists who sold more recordings than the Tijuana Brass in those years were Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and the Beatles. A dream that literally began in Herb Alpert's garage grew into a hugely successful performing group and a record company, A&M Records, which Herb Alpert and his partner Jerry Moss ultimately sold for upwards of half a billion dollars. The Black Sombrero Brass is based in the Washington area and is made up of long-time professional musicians and friends. Our goal is to recreate that old Tijuana Brass sound and spirit, so our instrumentation is the same as theirs: 2 trumpets, trombone, marimba/vibraphone, guitar, bass, and drums. On trumpet are Dan Haverstock, a busy freelance trombone and trumpet player and leader of the BSB, and Zack Smith, leader of the well-known zydeco/jazz/dixieland band, the Dixie Power Trio. In the years since trombonist John Jensen retired from the U.S. Navy Band, he has been very active as a performing and recording jazz musician. Guitarist Gerry Kunkel and Bassist Jon Nazdin have long experience in the DC area playing in a wide range of musical groups and shows. On mallets is Charles Bubeck, who is also a composer, private music teacher, and director of the W.T. Woodson High School Jazz Ensemble in Fairfax, Virginia. Steve Rosenheim was formerly a full-time music producer and bandleader, and is in demand as a drummer, singer, and flutist.