Canadian Brass takes the stage at Fairfield University's Quick Center

Canadian Brass takes the stage at Fairfield University's Quick Center

Canadian Brass, the "fab five" of brass music for more than three decades, brings its infectious blend of precision, virtuosity and humor to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. Sandwiched between major tours in Germany and Japan, the Quick Center appearance is the only area stop this on-the-go quintet has scheduled for 2006.

The Canadian Brass sprang from modest and highly experimental roots in Toronto in 1970. Trumpet player Gene Watts and tuba player Chuck Daellenbach, two original members still playing with the ensemble, added their imagination and consummate musicianship to an informal group that has grown to be one of the most revered ensembles on the music scene.

"These are the men who put brass music on the map," wrote a Washington Post reviewer.

With a deep affinity for Baroque music, the ensemble has recorded more than 60 albums to date, including many works by Purcell, Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Pachelbel, Beethoven and Wagner. Eschewing stodgy stereotypes, the musicians also developed a unique character and rapport with audiences that was so successful it's been widely emulated by other ensembles.

"The key to Canadian Brass' performance style is communication between the artists and their audiences," wrote one reviewer. "The players feel strongly that it is important to involve the audience in their concerts, both to enhance the listeners' enjoyment of the music and to ensure that they have fun."

In addition to Daellenbach and Watts, the current lineup includes Stuart Laughton, trumpet; Justin Emerich, trumpet; and Bernhard Scully, horn.

The members of Canadian Brass spend much of their time on tour, having performed with many of the major symphonies in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. They've also gained an international following in solo performances that offer a wide variety of musical styles.

Faced with a limited base of traditional works for brass when they began, Canadian Brass set out to create their own musical world by transcribing, arranging and commissioning more than 200 works. They now present works in the classical repertoire, as well as delving into jazz, contemporary and popular songs.

The members are also committed to the future of brass music, often fitting master classes into their touring schedule. Canadian Brass is the chamber quintet-in-residence at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif., and it has created an innovative brass summer course at the famous Eastman School of Music.

Tickets are $40, $35 and $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit

Posted On: 01-27-2006 10:01 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 149