Canadian Brass

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The Canadian Brass is a brass quintet founded by Charles Daellenbach and Gene Watts in 1970. In addition to maintaining a heavy international touring schedule, the Canadian Brass have recorded over 100 CDs and DVDs. They have commissioned, performed, and recorded hundreds of transcriptions and original works for brass quintet.

Description and history[edit]

"Kings of Brass" as described by the Ottawa Citizen, their first European tour was in 1972 with the Festival Singers.[1] The Canadian Brass (known for their unique performance attire of formal black suits with white running shoes) made its American debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 1975. A significant international visit was made in 1977 when they were sent to mainland China as a cultural exchange between Canada and China. The ensemble was chosen and sent on this cultural mission by then-Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. They are now remembered in China as the first Western musicians allowed into China after the Cultural Revolution had suppressed Western art and music.

In 1979 Canadian Brass became the first chamber ensemble to solo the main stage at Carnegie Hall.[2] As The New York Times reported, their sold-out performance "clearly establishes the Canadian Brass as a main-stage attraction." In addition to their heavy international touring schedule for over 40 years, and their extensive recording catalog, they have been on the Billboard charts in each decade of their existence, recording with the majors RCA, BMG, CBS, Sony, Philips and Decca, occupying virtually all the spots open to brass players. Canadian Brass recordings are currently released by Toronto-based Opening Day Entertainment Group (ODEG), headed by Daellenbach.

The amazingly prolific recording career alone has created a permanent position of preeminence amongst brass players for Canadian Brass around the world and throughout history. With well over one hundred major musical recorded projects to their credit, the Canadian Brass will always be the standard by which other brass ensembles are judged. The first recordings the Brass created were for the CBC radio transcription service. In fact the very first major concert of Canadian Brass in Toronto the summer of 1971 was committed to disc. Discovered by record producer Eleanor Sniderman, she put the group on its first commercial LPs in 1973 and 1974. With these discs under their arms, the Brass attracted major artist management in New York City. In 1977, the same year the Brass represented North America in Peoples Republic of China, the group was heard on a live WQXR radio broadcase by multi-grammy award winning producer Jay Saks. Jay was so impressed he immediately recommended the ensemble record with him on the prestigious RCA Red-Seal -- "where artists become legends". This started the non-stop high Billboard Chart positioning that continues today. The ensemble was then scouted by CBS records, soon to be Sony, where they recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony brass players, establishing a repertoire that is now standard for expanded brass ensembles. When the group's former manager, Costa Pilavachi, assumed the post of 'Head of A&R' at Philips Records in the Netherlands, he lured the Brass to his new label. This relationship added a wonderful recorded presence for the Canadian Brass in Europe, as well as produced the legendary video recording, "Home Movies." Then in 1992 the Brass joined BMG for an unprecedented release of fourteen albums in eight years, including the prestigious German Echo Award for the recording of the Bach "Goldberg Variations"! The turn of the century marked an important defining time for the group. Daellenbach started the Opening Day Entertainment Group Inc., a Canadian Indie recording label. From the tremendous experiences with the majors over a twenty year period, he was able to start a vibrant label that now includes fourteen artists and some seventy CDs. The catalog of CDs recorded for their own Opening Day label is garnering press and criticism for the Brass equaling and surpassing that of the group's prior major label recording efforts—no small task! The extensive catalog of recordings has become a veritable history of brass in the late twentieth & early twenty-first centuries.

The band has been named the "world's leading brass ensemble" by The Washington Post.[citation needed]

Current/Active Members[edit]

Current members

Past Members[edit]

Past members

  • Brandon Ridenour, trumpet (2009—2013) & "Trumpet Dream Team (2006-2010)"
  • Manon Lafrance, "Trumpet Dream Team (2006-2010)"
  • Jeroen Berwaerts, "Trumpet Dream Team (2006-2010)"
  • Justin Emerich, trumpet (2005–2006)
  • Charles Lazarus, trumpet (2005–2005)
  • Joe Burgstaller, trumpet (2001–2004, 2007–2009)
  • Ryan Anthony, trumpet (2000–2003) & "Trumpet Dream Team (2006-2010)"
  • Jens Lindemann, trumpet (1996–2001)
  • Fred Mills, trumpet (1972–1996)
  • Ronald Romm, trumpet (1971–2000) & "Trumpet Dream Team (2006-2010)"
  • Stuart Laughton, trumpet (1970–1971, 2003–2005) Youngest-ever, 17, member of Canadian Brass

  • Keith Dyrda, trombone (2010—2011)
  • Eugene Watts, trombone (1970–2010)

  • Eric Reed, horn (2010—2013)
  • (Bernhard Scully, horn (2005-2007, 2014-present))
  • Jeff Nelsen, horn (2000–2004, 2007–2010)
  • Christopher Cooper, horn (1998–2000)
  • David Ohanian, horn (1986–1998)
  • Martin Hackleman, horn (1983–1986)
  • Graeme Page, horn (1970–1983)


  • Canadian Brass (self-titled)' (1971,1972) CBC
  • Rag-Ma-Tazz (1973) CBC
  • Make We Joy (1973) CBC w/Festival Singers of Canada
  • Royal Fanfare (1973) Boot Master Concert Series
  • Canadian Brass in Paris (1973) Boot Master Concert Series
  • Rag-Ma-Tazz (1974) Boot Master Concert Series
  • A Touch of Brass (1974) Welk Group
  • Canadian Brass: Pachelbel to Joplin (1974) Welk Group
  • Pucker & Valve Society Band (1975) Umbrella
  • Unexplored Territory (1977) CBC w/Don Gillis Jazz Quartet
  • Canadian Brass Plus Organ (1977) CBC w/organist Doug Haas
  • Toccata, Fugues & Other Diversions (1977) Umbrella Direct-to-Disk
  • Canadian Brass Encore (1977) CBC
  • Bells and Brass (1978, with Gordon Slater) Independent
  • Mostly Fats; Fats Waller's Greatest Hits (1979) RCA Red Seal
  • Pachelbel Canon & Other Great Baroque Hits (1980) RCA Red Seal
  • Christmas with the Canadian Brass & the Organ of St. Patrick's (1981) RCA Red Seal
  • The Village Band (1981) RCA Red Seal
  • Champions (1983) Sony
  • Canadian Brass Greatest Hits (1983) RCA Red Seal
  • High, Bright, Light and Clear (1983) RCA Red Seal
  • Ain't Misbehavin' and Other Fats Waller Hits (1984) RCA
  • Brass in Berlin w/ Berlin Philharmonic brass (1984) Sony
  • Canadian Brass Live! (1984) Sony
  • A Canadian Brass Christmas (1985) Sony
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (1986) Sony
  • Basin Street (1987) Sony
  • Strike Up the Band — Canadian Brass Plays Gershwin (1987) RCA Red Seal
  • Bach: The Art of Fugue (1988) Sony
  • The Mozart Album (1988) Sony
  • Canadian Brass More Greatest Hits (1988) Sony
  • Best of the Canadian Brass (1989) Sony
  • Gabrieli/Monteverdi: Antiphonal Music (1990) Sony w/Members of the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama
  • English Renaissance Music w/period drums (1990) Sony
  • Super Hits Sony
  • The Christmas Album with the Elmer Iseler Singers (1990) PHILIPS
  • Beethoven Fifth Symphony & Overtures (1991) PHILIPS w/Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic brass, conducted by Georg Tintner
  • Red, White & Brass: Made in the USA (1991) PHILIPS w/Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Lukas Foss
  • The Essential Canadian Brass (1991) PHILIPS
  • Red Hot Jazz: The Dixieland Album (1992) PHILIPS
  • Wagner for Brass (1992) PHILIPS w/Members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival, conducted by Edo de Waart
  • Rejoice! -- Brass and Voice (1993) ODEG w/Indiannoplis Children's Choir
  • An Evening of Brass Theater (1994) ODEG (Opening Day Entertainment Group)
  • Brass on Broadway w/ Luther Henderson (1994) PHILIPS
  • Gabrieli for Brass (1994) PHILIPS w/Members of the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Elmer Iseler
  • Noel (1994) BMG with James Galway, Kings Singers, Angel Romero & others
  • Bolero & Other Great Melodies (1995) BMG
  • Brass Busters (1995) BMG w/New York Philharmonic & Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Fireworks: Baroque Brass Favorites (1995) BMG
  • Go for Baroque! (1995) BMG
  • Ragtime (1995) BMG
  • Renaissance Men (1995) BMG
  • Swingtime! (1995) BMG
  • Brass Theater II with Star of Indiana (1995) ODEG
  • Brass Theater III with Star of Indiana (1996) ODEG
  • Canadian Brass Plays Bernstein (1996) BMG
  • The Canadian Brass Live in Germany (1997) BMG
  • Christmas Experiment (1997) BMG
  • All You Need is Love (1998) BMG
  • A Christmas Gloria (1999) TELARC w/Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • Take the "A" Train (1999) BMG
  • Celebration w/Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (1999) ODEG
  • Bach Goldberg Variations (2001) BMG
  • CBC Radio Years (2001) CBC
  • Holidays with Canadian Brass (2002) BMG
  • Sacred Brass (2002) BMG
  • Amazing Brass (2002) ODEG/LINUS
  • Sweet Songs of Christmas (2002) ODEG
  • A Holiday Tradition (2003) LINUS
  • Magic Horn (2004) ODEG
  • Joyful Sounds with organ and choir (2005) ODEG
  • High Society" (2006) ODEG
  • People of Faith w/Elmer Iseler Singers (2006) ODEG
  • Wedding Essentials (2006) ODEG
  • Concert Band Essentials (2007) ODEG
  • Christmas Tradition with Eric Roberson, organ (2007) ODEG
  • Bach (2008) ODEG
  • Legends (2008) ODEG
  • Jazz Roots (2008) ODEG
  • Manhattan Music with the Eastman Wind Ensemble (2008) ODEG
  • Echo — Glory of Gabrieli (2009) ODEG
  • Swing That Music — A Tribute to Louis Armstrong (2010) ODEG
  • Stars & Stripes" — Canadian Brass Salute America with members of NEXUS (2010) ODEG
  • Spirit Dance (2010) ODEG w/pianist David Braid
  • A Very Merry Christmas (2010) w/various artists
  • The Classics: From Pachelbel to Purcell (2011) ODEG
  • The Classics: Between Bach & Handel (2011) ODEG
  • The Classics: Mozart & More (2011) ODEG
  • Brahms on Brass (2011) ODEG
  • Takes Flight (2012) Steinway/ODEG
  • Carnaval: Music of Robert Schumann (2013) ODEG
  • Christmas Time Is Here (2013) Steinway/ODEG


  • Canadian Brass Live (1986)
  • The Canadian Brass Masterclass (1989)
  • The Canadian Brass Spectacular (1989)
  • On Stage at Wolftrap (1990)
  • Home Movies (1991)
  • Strings, Winds, and All That Brass (1992)
  • The Canadian Brass Live in Germany (1994)
  • Christmas Experiment (1998)
  • A Christmas Gloria (1999)
  • Bootleg Canadian Brass — Authorized Version (2002)
  • Three Nights with Canadian Brass (2003)
  • "KAMEN - QUINTET" (2005)
  • State Street Stomp (2006)
  • Brass Romance - Lady Gaga (2011)
  • Brahms' Chorale Prelude #10 (2011)
  • "Flight of the Bumblebee" (2012)
  • "Live from LPR New York" (2012)

Music videos[edit]

Year Video
1991 "Amazing Grace"


  1. ^ "Canadian Brass". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  2. ^ "Canadian Brass tubist and founder Charles Daellenbach - "Lifetime Achievement Award".:". Conn-Selmer. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  3. ^ "Chris Coletti's official website". Retrieved 2013-12-20. 

External links[edit]