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All jazz groups ultimately descend from the brass band. The legendary Buddy Bolden, often credited with being the first true jazz musician to improvise freely, led the most popular brass band in New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century. A few years later, Louis Armstrong learned trumpet in a reformatory brass band. Since then, countless musicians have learned the basics of their art in high school, union or military brass bands. Today in New Orleans, at nearly all social occasions, from birthday parties to funerals, brass bands perform live.

But more important than all that, they’re a lot of fun. The marching second-line rhythms, interweaving horn lines, husky call-and-response vocals and huge, deep farting noises all sweep together into good-time music. The Dirty Dozen was one of the first revivalist brass bands, and it’s still one of the best. They have been pumping out party music for more than 25 years and know how to serve it up right.

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