101st ABN DIV Band hosts clinic with Sugartone Brass Band

By SPC Colin McAllister
101st Airborne Division (AASLT) Band

News story photo
Photo credit: SGT Michael Kiese
Members of the Sugartone quartet perform for members of the 101st Airborne Division Band
Members of the Dirty Birds Brass Band (part of the 101st Airborne Division Band) hosted a clinic led by members of the Sugartone Brass Band on Friday, September 19. The Sugartone Brass Band was formed in 2002 in New York City and has been playing shows across the country since then. These professional musicians had a lot of knowledge to share, not only about music and performance, but also about discipline and hard work.

"You can find joy in anything you do if you love discipline. Develop a love for discipline and when you dislike doing something, it then becomes a challenge," said Roland Barber, the Sugartone Quartet trombonist.

Only four members of the Sugartone Brass Band could attend so they called themselves the Sugartone Quartet. The Sugartone Quartet is made up of Kenneth Bentley on sousaphone, Roland Barber on trombone, Chris West on saxophone, Marcus Finnie on drums.

The Quartet was in the Nashville area for a performance on September 19 at the Americana Music Festival.

"New Orleans" style Brass Band music is a unique genre that uses a military marching band lineup to play jazz and funk music. It differs from traditional jazz and hip hop bands by the use of a sousaphone to play the bass line. It also uses two drummers instead of one to carry the beat; one drummer playing bass drum and the other playing snare drum and cymbals. This is done so that the band can remain mobile and portray energy through movement.

Since this style of music is so unique, the only way to learn it is from people who have done it professionally. The Dirty Bird Brass Band had an idea of what they were supposed to sound like, but this idea was solidified after the Sugartone Quartet clinic.

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