“Call it diplomacy by tuba. The U.S. Department of State has selected a Queens brass band to tour Venezuela as musical ambassadors with hopes the booming tunes will thaw the chilly relationship between the two nations. Street Beat Brass, a five-piece band based in Sunnyside, in January will perform in a street parade in San Cristobal and lead a class at El Sistema, the world-renowned classical music program for low-income children. The relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela has been on a downward spiral since the fiery leftist Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998. But Fairbanks said his band’s diverse range of music — a hodgepodge of American root genres, such as New Orleans jazz, Mexican banda, Klezmer and gospel — might just be the key to exorcising all that diplomatic beef. The band, which has been together since 2012, was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, according to the State Department.”
“A Queens band will represent American culture during a tour of Venezuela early next year. The U.S. Embassy in the South American country selected Street Beat Brass Band for a tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The band, which has three members from Queens, will be musical ambassadors as they traverse Venezuela between Jan. 14 and 21. Specifically, Street Beat Brass Band will visit Caracas and San Cristobal. The group will perform at the San Sebastian Cultural Festival and the members will conduct master classes for students of El Sistema, a low-income music education program that groomed L.A. Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel. When they get to Venezuela, Street Beat Brass Band plans to perform some originals as well as brass-based tunes in the style of New Orleans jazz, polka, Mexican Banda, gospel and funk. They hope to play a couple of Venezuelan folk songs as well.”
“Multicultural composer-trombonist Jeff Fairbanks explores a fusion of Korean, Chinese, and Italian musics on this daring big-band outing … ambitious project ... Baritone sax ace Fred ho is featured on two parts of this sprawling suites that marries traditional Chinese motifs and Western brass-band traditions while blending in free jazz expressions ... Other highlights on this ambitious project include 'San Ma Da', a breezy take on a Korean hymn that showcases Fairbanks' fluid lines and lyrical sensibilities on trombone.”
“Fairbanks is a rising multi-faceted star if not musical voice on the New York scene working as composer, arranger, conductor and his instrumental skills as trombonist are second to none. Mulberry Street is a fascinating multi-cultural look at Korean, Chinese and Italian band music sprinkled with Asian instruments and fused into an eclectic big band sound that is a multi-cultural delight! ... Mulberry Street advances past the big band idiom into a more contemporary jazz orchestra setting.”
“This big band concept album by trombonist-composer Jeff Fairbanks weaves Western and Asian musical threads into a bright and brilliant fabric, paying homage to that most multicultural of all cites, New York. Fairbanks’ writing is rich and layered, and his soloists — including guest baritone saxophonist Fred Ho — reflect the spirit of his work. Jazz needs more of this kind of music.”
“At a time when there are myriad large ensemble recordings, Jeff Fairbanks' Project Hansori is one of the most impressive and satisfying.”
"Asian folk music fused with modern jazz? You’ve got to hear it to believe it...Mulberry Street delivers a surprising and unlikely symphony of exotic Chinese and familiar Western instruments and jazz compositions that mesh together yet retain their unique, intrinsic components. The resulting potpourri of rhythmic patterns takes some getting used to, but ultimately, becomes an amazing experience — almost transcendental.
“what an awesome display of creativity and musical genius ... Upon hearing the 17-piece Jazz orchestra of Jeff Fairbanks and this new sub-genre called Asian Jazz, I was instantly a fan.”
“This is a different sort of big-band session: fusionistic, complex but accessible, and most enjoyable ... this album is excellent evidence of [Jeff's] abilities”
“Mulberry Street can be summed up in one word: magnificent!”
“a fresh and stellar big band recording...and dazzling musical experience that is likely to be among this listener’s best of 2011. Highly recommended.”
"...a solid, contemporary big band date that sounds like it's played from the heart by a leader and crew that care. First class sitting down jazz all the way, listen first, read second. This is simply a dazzler throughout."
“[This] song has the wild exhilaration of a Tom Waits song and the experimental whimsy of Kamikaze Ground Crew. This is the kind of tune to get your Big Band Friday night started.”
"The compositions on trombonist Jeff Fairbanks’ album Mulberry Street...sound very fresh".
“...a wonderful composer named Jeff Fairbanks…also a fine trombonist… has against all odds put together a large ensemble that plays so-called 'jazz’ in meters like 5/8-5/8-6/8-5/8 while simultaneously combining Korean, Chinese and Italian band musics (think Nino Rota) complete with Asian instruments into a recognizably American big band idiom. And it SWINGS!!!”
“Jeff Fairbanks’ repertoire is a mix of modern jazz and Asian music”
"His composition was so sophisticated and artful".
"an ambitious suite that mixed traditional Chinese gongs and musical gestures with more jazz-like passages".
“Jeff Fairbanks Wins Charlie Parker Composition Prize at BMI Jazz Showcase”