The Slavic Soul Party must go on.
Rain or shine, snow or sleet, a brass band has kept their Tuesday night of Balkan, jazz, and funk music at Barbes in Park Slope going for 10 years now.
“Usually the nights people think you’re crazy to play are often the best, like the one right after Sandy,” said bandleader and drummer Matt Moran, who’ll be celebrating the show’s anniversary on Sept. 10.
“Any one right after a mad storm — I love those nights.”
Since a decade ago, the band has rarely missed a show, save for the random gig on the road or illness. It’s also put out four albums on Barbes’s record label, changed its lineup a few times as members moved on or got burnt out from the relentless pace of the music, and sadly mourned the loss one of its founding members, Take Yoriyama.
And even though at it’s start, the group of musicians regularly outnumbered their audience, now, the Slavic Soul Party regularly packs the cozy back room of their regular spot.
“Ten years is a lot of living,” said Moran. “I feel like we have really grown and created this real solid, fiery type of brass band.”
For its anniversary celebration, the band expects to continue pushing itself to stay creative, even after all these years.
“We’re not musicians that want to show up and do the same thing over and over again,” said Moran. “That’s the beauty of Barbes — you can take risks and make decisions in the moment.”
With this milestone under his belt, Moran isn’t planning on hanging up the drumsticks just yet. He sees a 20-year anniversary of Tuesday night shows at Barbes in the band’s future.
“It doesn’t mean we won’t be doing other stuff, too,” said Moran. “But I don’t see this stopping.”
Back in 2003, Moran was looking to start a residency with his nine-piece band a la the Rebirth Brass Band’s Tuesday night gig at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans. He approached Olivier Conan, who had just opened the Park Slope bar the year before, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I can’t believe I have walked into Barbes and played over 500 shows in that back room,” said Moran. “It’s amazing to feel the depths of that under you.”
Slavic Soul Party at Barbes (276 Ninth St. at Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, www.barbes
©2013 Community News Group
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