McNally Smith students to open for Youngblood Brass Band - KMSP-TV

McNally Smith students to open for Youngblood Brass Band

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A popular brass band that got its start in Wisconsin that traveled north is doing more than teaching a group of metro college students a thing or two about music -- they'll be sharing the stage.

"It's like a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Cody Leduc told Fox 9 News. "I was kind of almost star struck for a minute, to be honest with you."

When most people think of New Orleans brass bands, they think of songs like "When the Saints Go Marching In" and other famous titles from the big easy -- but a band that got its start in the Midwest is breathing some new life into the genre.

At the McNally Smith College of Music, students take a hands-on approach to learning the business -- and the Youngblood Brass Band joined them to demonstrate how they polish their signature sound.

The founding members of the Youngblood Brass Band got their start in Oregon, Wis., in the mid 1990s while they were still in high school. Ever since they fell in love with New Orleans-style jazz, they've mixed in hip-hop rhythms with bold horns to bring a new audience a fresh take on a traditional big band format.

"We never had this board meeting where we were like -- hip hop!" Dave Henzie-Skogen said. "This is music we love. As musicians, we are incapable of playing anything that doesn't sound influenced by how we grew up playing music."

In addition to helping the students develop their own brand of brass music, Youngblood Brass Band also asked them to be their opening act when they play at the Triple Rock Music Club next month.

"We also had some really good teachers when we were younger who were generous with their time and knowledge," Henzie-Skogen said. "It feels really good to try to do the same thing and kind of give back."

This isn't the first time Youngblood Brass Band has given music lessons at a school, but it will be the first time a band of students will open for them. The show is set for May 8.

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