Mucca Pazza

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Mucca Pazza
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Circus
Punk
Marching Band
Years active 2004–present
Website [1]
Members

Freaks: Greg Hirte (violin), Gary Kalar (mandolin), Ronnie Kuller (accordion), Jeff Thomas (guitar)

Woodwinds: Dave Levine, Dave Smith, Maria Hernandez

Trumpets: Justin Amolsch, Susie Inverso, Sam Johnson, Jim McBride, Nick Siegel

Bones: Nick Broste, Tom Howe, Elanor Leskiw, Ellis Seiberling

Sousaphone, etc.: Mark Messing

Percussion "K12": Larry Beers, Paul Brannon, John Carroll, Andy Deitrich, Tony DiMartino, Rick Kubes, Brent Roman

Cheerleaders: Jessica Hudson, Sharon Lanza, Meghan Strell, Vanessa Valliere, Donnell Williams
Past members

Shaye Cohn (accordion), Ben Cole (trumpet), Dave Ramey (trombone), Lori Myers (cheer), Dan Dorff (percussion)

Pazzas Emeritus: Loto Ball (trumpet), Max Crawford (trumpet), Winston Damon (trombone), Nick Dempsey (saxophone), Ben Gray (percussion), Michael Hartman (cymbals), Jeremy Jacobsen (accordion), Ernst Karel (trumpet), Eve Monzingo (woodwind), Lori Myers (cheer), Vanessa Stalling (cheer), Dan Stark (trombone), Noah Tabakin (saxophone), Greg Nicolett (trombone), Jay St. Germain (tenor saxophone), Jon Steinmeier (percussion), George Lawler (percussion), Ronnie Malley (percussion), Timothy Heck (cheer), Lindsey Whiting (cheer)

Mucca Pazza, whose name comes from the Italian for "mad cow", assembled itself in the parking lot of a Chicago steel mill in 2004. Combining street theater and marching band instincts with avant-garde and rock band sensibilities, the twenty-odd piece ensemble built a cult following in the local underground music scene. Unconstrained by the rock venue format, Mucca Pazza marched into the city's world-class Millennium Park, becoming something of an unofficial Chicago mascot. Mucca Pazza went national just as the renegade marching band community blossomed into a full-fledged musical movement.

With mismatched uniforms, improvised marching maneuvers, speaker helmets and deconstructed cheer-leading, Mucca Pazza trail-blazed the 'weird as we wanna be' theatrical and visual aesthetic, while exhibiting real musical talent, playing mostly through-composed original compositions that tend to land somewhere between Zappa and Morricone. Atonal harmonies, odd time signatures and labyrinthine melodies are as likely to pop up as sweet brass chords, catchy whistlers and solid grooves. They have performed nationally at many well known venues and concerts including McCarren Park Pool, True/False Film Festival, Lollapalooza, Rothbury Music Festival, the Kentucky Derby Days Parade, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and were featured on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2006. The band has opened for Primus_(band) and The Flaming Lips, and have collaborated with Exene Cervenka and Andrew Bird.

Their debut album, A Little Marching Band, was released in 2006. Their second full-length album, Plays Well Together, was released in June 2008. The band's song "Borino Oro" was featured in a season 4 episode of the Showtime television show Weeds, and the songs "Tube Sock Tango" and "St. Fresca's Regret" were used in Season 1, Episode 8 of Amazon'sTransparent. Their third album "Safety Fifth" was released in July, 2012 and a fourth full-length, "L.Y.A." is due out in the Fall of 2014.

Instrumentation[edit]

Mucca Pazza orchestration includes:

  • Accordion, violin, mandolin, elec. guitar, melodica
  • Clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax
  • Trumpets/mellophone
  • Trombones
  • Sousaphone
  • Percussion: marching snare drums, bass drum, concert tom, crash cymbals, glockenspiel, middle eastern hand drums, various percussions.
  • Cheerleaders/Poms

+ speaker helmets

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]