Youngblood Brass Band

Youngblood Brass Band
Background information
Origin Oregon, Wisconsin, US
Genres Jazz
Hip hop
Punk jazz
Years active 1997–present

Layered Music

Tru Thoughts

D.H. Skogen
Zach Lucas
Tony Barba
Adam Meckler
Charley Wagner
Joe Goltz
Matt Hanzelka
Nat MacIntosh
Conor Elmes

Tom Reschke
Past members

Arian Macklin
Carl Bartsch
Moses Patrou
Jonah Gaster

Mike Boman

The Youngblood Brass Band is a brass band from Oregon, Wisconsin, United States that was started by students at Oregon High School in 1995 when they were known as the One Lard Biskit Brass Band with the name changed to the current name in 1998.


The band's founding members, sousaphonist Nat McIntosh and snare drummer/lyricist David Henzie-Skogen, both went to Oregon High School and first played together in 1994. The band came together in 1995 as the One Lard Biskit Brass Band, subsequently releasing the album Better Recognize locally. The Youngblood name dates from 1998, the year the group put out their first album, Word On The Street. In 2000 Youngblood released Unlearn, which featured appearances by Talib Kweli, Mike Ladd, DJ Skooly and Ike Willis. Unlearn, which like Word On The Street was released independently, garnered the band significant attention and led to them being signed to Ozone Music NYC. The band's first album for Ozone, called center:level:roar, came out in 2003. They tour consistently in the United States and Europe, and in 2005 released a live album entitled live. places. on their Layered Music record label. Is That a Riot? (2006) was supported by multiple international tours and festival appearances. Their latest album, Pax Volumi, was released on September 9, 2013 by Tru Thoughts.

Musical style

The Youngblood Brass Band combines the inspiration they took from the traditional New Orleans brass band sound with influences from jazz music, improvised music, a decidedly punk ethos, and a strong hip hop component. More than many New Orleans groups, the Youngblood Brass Band focuses on tight ensemble playing and pushing the boundaries of brass band music beyond its traditional genre, which allows them, even when performing live, to provide solid, diverse backing for Skogen's rapping and McIntosh's virtousic sousaphone work. Unable to be classified as either jazz, hip-hop, punk or any other existing genre, the band coined the term Riot Jazz. The band acknowledges the debt their music owes to the New Orleans bands, however, with performances of traditional tunes such as "Chinatown, My Chinatown", which they included on their Unlearn album.

In 2004, sousaphonist and primary arranger Nat McIntosh left the group. As Nat's music was a "main component of the band's sound since inception",[1] his departure marked a change in sound for Youngblood Brass Band, as chronicled by the release of Live. Places and Is That a Riot?. The band's work during this time features a harder hip-hop edge with stronger punk influences compared to their other work.

Nat rejoined the band in 2013, and his playing and songwriting both appear on their most-recent album, Pax Volumi on the Tru Thoughts record label.[2]

Educational work

Band members credit "really good public school system arts-education programs"[3] for inspiring their love of music, and they make an effort to play for schools as well as at clubs and larger venues. Under the aegis of the Layered Arts Collective, which band members co-founded, they also present musical lectures where in addition to performing, they speak about the history of brass bands and hip-hop. Layered Arts Collective also functions as a record label/publishing house for their family of artists (including Cougar, a group of experimental rockers that also count David Henzie-Skogen as a member). Youngblood has also released sheet music transcriptions of all original songs included on their albums, as many university and high school music ensembles have begun including YBB in their repertoire.



Youngblood Brass Band's Lineup




* recorded by One Lard Biskit Brass Band


  1. from Live. Places. liner notes
  2. "Youngblood Brass Band Sign to Tru Thoughts". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  3. In Performance: The Youngblood Brass Band, June 14, 2004
  4. "Youngblood Brass Band". Retrieved 2015-12-05.
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