BayStreet Brassworks: Review


BayStreet Brassworks visited Butler University last night to take part in the Duckwall Artist Series at the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall.

The Duckwall Artist Series began in January, and BayStreet Brassworks was the fifth of many ensembles and artists to perform.

For what comparisons are worth, BayStreet Brassworks’s performance was a distinct change of pace from the previous Duckwall Artist performances.

First of all, the instrumentation of the group necessitates a unique repertoire.

Trumpet, French horn and tuba combine with saxophone, clarinet and drum set, placing the group somewhere between a brass quintet and a big band.

The group found its most authentic voice in nostalgic, swing-era tunes such as Hoagie Charmichael’s “Star Dust,” with which it swayed the audience into a contented lull.

However, the quirks of their non-traditional style became more difficult to manage when they attempted classical works such as selections from Alexander Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” or an aria from Mozart’s “Magic Flute.”

They approached these pieces playfully, often bringing the audience to a laugh with a charming bit of stage humor.

They concluded the concert with a rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever” that was both showy and comedic, bringing the audience to its loudest applause of the night.

The Duckwall Artist Series will continue on March 3, when Butler University violin professor Larry Shapiro will play with Catherine Bringerud.