Mucca Pazza

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Mucca Pazza
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
Marching band
Years active2004–present
MembersFreaks: Jim Drake (mandolin), Hope Arthur (Accordion) Charlie Malave (guitar), Nora Barton (cello), Amanda Bailey (violin)

Woodwinds: Airan Wright, Dave Smith, Maria Hernandez, Garrick Smith

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

Bones: Susan Bratton, Neil Brown, Chris Dixon, Tom Howe, Melissa McNeal

Sousaphone/Tuba: Mike Hogg, Jim Langenberg

Percussion "K12": Larry Beers, John Carroll, Andy Deitrich, Hershyl Edwards, Rick Kubes, Amanda Legner, Brent Roman

Cheerleaders: Sharon Lanza, Meghan Strell, Vanessa Valliere, Rawson Vint
Past membersSara Morgan (K12), Elanor Leskiw (trombone), Nick Broste (trombone), Ronnie Kuller (accordion), Gary Kalar (mandolin), Donnell Williams (cheer) Shaye Cohn (accordion), Ben Cole (trumpet), Dave Ramey (trombone), Lori Myers (cheer), Dan Dorff (percussion), Loto Ball (trumpet), Max Crawford (trumpet), Winston Damon (trombone), Nick Dempsey (saxophone), Michael Hartman (cymbals), Jeremy Jacobsen (accordion), Ernst Karel (trumpet), Eve Monzingo (woodwind), 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), Paul Brannon (percussion), Jessica Hudson (cheer), Greg Hirte (violin), Jeff Thomas (guitar), Mark Messing (sousaphone), Tony DiMartino (snare), Dave Levine (saxophone), Ellis Seiberling (trombone).

Mucca Pazza is an interdisciplinary instrumental music and performance ensemble based in Chicago, USA.

Mucca Pazza consists of approximately thirty active members and performs instrumental music; their mode of performance is informed by physical theater. Mucca Pazza’s instrumentation is loosely based on that of a traditional American marching band - drumline, sousaphone, trombones, trumpets, saxophones - but also includes electric guitar, mandolin, violin, cello, accordion, and cheerleaders. Their sound references American marching band and big band traditions,[1] as well as Middle Eastern music, California surf, Ennio Morricone, and 50s television show themes. They perform in mismatched marching band uniforms,[1] and are known for their energetic performances.[1]

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." was released in October 2014.


Mucca Pazza was formed in Chicago in 2004. Many of the founding members met while performing with Redmoon Theater.[2] Early on, rehearsals took place in the parking lot of a steel mill.[3] The first official Mucca Pazza gig was at trombone player Tom Howe’s wedding[3] at Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago.


With the Chicago Sinfonietta

In September 2014, Mucca Pazza performed as part of the Chicago Sinfonietta’s opening concert of the season.[4] Together, the Sinfonietta and Mucca Pazza performed two pieces by Mucca Pazza composers, in orchestral arrangements by Joe Clark: “Rabbits and Trees,” by David Smith; and “Holiday on Ice,” by Mark Messing. The two ensembles also collaborated in performing “The 1812 Overture” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, in a conceit which featured Mucca Pazza as the invading French army and the full symphony orchestra as Russia.[5]

With the Chicago Children's Choir

In May 2014, Mucca Pazza performed together with the 3500 children of the Chicago Children's Choir at the CCC's annual "Paint the Town Red" concert at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.[6]

Tiny Desk concert[edit]

In January 2015, Mucca Pazza performed on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk concert series, with either 23 or 24 band members present.[7] Bob Boilen, creator of the series, described the band’s performance as “the biggest and most colorful Tiny Desk show of them all, this one was a challenge and a thrill to pull off.”[8] Mucca Pazza’s appearance was later selected by Bob Boilen as one of the 15 best Tiny Desk concerts of 2015.[8]

Music videos[edit]

Mucca Pazza has created music videos for the following songs: Boss Taurus,[9] All Out of Bubblegum (live at Mass MoCA),[10] Tube Sock Tango (wax cylinder version),[11] and The Sit Down Waltz.[12]

Mucca Pazza is featured in the official music video for Andrew Bird’s song “Fitz and the Dizzyspells”, which was filmed at The Hideout in Chicago in 2009.[13]


  • A Little Marching Band (2007)
  • Plays Well Together (2008)
  • Safety Fifth (2012)
  • L.Y.A. (2014)
  • Barbarous Relic, single (2017)
  • Trick or Treat, EP (2017)
  • War of Amusements, single (2018)


  1. ^ a b c Jon Parelesjan (2013-01-14). "Globalfest, World Musicians at Webster Hall - The New York Times". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  2. ^ "Circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza makes joyful noise in springtime". 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  3. ^ a b Andy Downing (2006-06-09). "Mucca Pazza marches to a very different drummer". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  4. ^ Wiley, Melissa (2014-09-17). "Chicago Sinfonietta Opens Season With Mucca Pazza And Craft Beer". Chicagoist. Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  5. ^ Munice, Amy. "Chicago Sinfonietta and Mucca Pazza at Symphony Center Review- Kindred Spirits Leave Audience Beaming Smiles | Splash Magazines | Los Angeles". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  6. ^ Graef, Jon (2014-04-19). "Mucca Pazza To Perform With All 3,500 Chicago Children's Choir Members In May". Chicagoist. Archived from the original on 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  7. ^ Bob Boilen (2015-02-10). "Mucca Pazza: Tiny Desk Concert". NPR. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  8. ^ a b "2015: Looking Back On A Year At The Tiny Desk : All Songs Considered". NPR. 2015-12-30. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  9. ^ "Mucca Pazza: Boss Taurus (official music video)". YouTube. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  10. ^ "Mucca Pazza: All Out of Bubblegum (live audio from MASS MoCA)". YouTube. 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  11. ^ "TUBE SOCK TANGO 1894". YouTube. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  12. ^ Bayne, Martha (2015-08-14). "Video: Mucca Pazza's "The Sit Down Waltz" | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  13. ^ "Andrew Bird "Fitz and the Dizzyspells"". YouTube. 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2017-04-18.