With a powerful combination of talent and highly danceable and energized music, the Inner City All Stars may be considered the new leaders of their musical genre. Coming from the town that has birth Grammy-award winners Brave Combo, Norah Jones, and Bowling For Soup, the Denton, Texas-based Inner City All Stars is a Funk/Jam Brass Band that blends R&B, Texas Style Hip-Hop, and the call and response of D.C. Go-Go to give the listener an eclectic variety of music.
“With marching tuba and other horns in the lineup, one might think these players would be limited to New Orleans-style street jazz and similar stuff,this is not the case. Besides a good dose of funk, the band also showcases Latin and Moorish sounds, as well as blues with a touch of hip hop cadences.” Sheena Meyers, Venues Magazine
Although the Inner City All Stars was founded in January 2003, the idea and concept has long been in the mind of Calvin Sexton. His dream of the ICABB musical concept was inspired by the marching music of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) he would observe in his youth in Birmingham, Alabama. As a college student at the University of North Texas, his inspiration to combine the HBCU marching music sound with funk, jazz, and world music grew stronger. In 1996, his freshman year, he met Tim Richardson, a student who shared the same ideas for an ensemble. The two students collaborated to produce the concept. Unfortunately, the ideal did not surface due to the passing of Tim Richardson from Sickle Cell.
Calvin continued his education performing in college jazz ensembles, classical ensembles, and creating his own classical, jazz, and top 40 groups as well. During 2001-2003, Calvin left school (due to financial reasons) to perform in California, where he played for Lady Bo, female guitarist of Bo Diddley, subbed in community orchestras, freelanced around the bay area, and worked on cruise lines as a musician. While listening to the island music, it began feeding his songwriting and helped develop ideas for a youthful and spirited band. Calvin later returned to the University of North Texas to Graduate with a degree in Music Performance August 2003.
The fall of 2001, he met another student, Ray Ray Williams, who shared the same desires of the musical concept. The two collaborated and in January of 2003 created the ensemble. The name, Inner City All Stars Brass Band, was established to represent the music that would be performed (music for every human being) and the ensembles diverse personnel.
The band’s talents have led them to receive a standing ovation at the Apollo Theater in New York City, become an approved artist for the Texas Commission on the Arts Texas Touring Roster Grant, become a staple of school performances at all levels from elementary, middle and high school to all levels of colleges and universities, lectures and master classes, perform at festivals such as Denton Jazz And Arts, Wildflower! Arts Festival, Ft. Worth Main Street, and Fiesta in San Antonio, conferences include the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities regional and National Conferences, Cutting Edge Music Festival in New Orleans, LA; and play at notable venues such as Tipitina’s and Café Brazil in New Orleans, Louisiana, Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas, TX and Luna Music Room in San Antonio, TX.
The band has also shared the stage with ReBirth Brass Band, Bo Diddly, The Family Stone, Morris Day and the Time, Grammy winners Brave Combo, and Bowling For Soup.
The Inner City All Stars raises the roof with classics and original numbers that will take the crowd from their seats to the dance floor and always entices a wild dance party. When looking for the hottest Funk/Jam ensemble around, look for the Inner City All Stars.