Brass ball

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Consider the humble trombone. Long the bane of “serious” classical musicians, shunted out to the side by jazz ensembles and almost always ridiculed in teen angst movies, trombones have an unfair reputation as a comic trope.

But trombones also have a proud history. Bach and Handel were fans, and Mozart was known to pull out the horn when he wanted to go funereal.

Now, starting on Saturday, the trombone will regain its lofty position during a month-long festival at the Ibeam Music Studio in Gowanus.

“We’re not doing this because the trombone is some kind of maligned instrument,” said Brian Drye (pictured), an organizer (and trombonist, of course!). “Actually, in New York City, trombones are huge. Many bands have trombones front and center.”

One of the bands performing will be the all-trombone quartet Water Surgeons (April 4).

“We’re able to create a very broad range of timbres,” says Josh Roseman, a trombonist (obviously!). “The music ranges from deconstructions of works by Chopin to odd-meter punk rock.”

Trombone Festival, every Saturday, April 4–25, at 8 pm at Ibeam Music Studio [168 Seventh St., between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (646) 456-6532] Cover, $10. For info visit

Updated 5:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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