Cover of Word on the Street, the Youngblood Brass Band's 1998 CD
The Wisconsin-based Youngblood Brass Band plays an infectious and powerful blend of Dixieland, soul, rock and hip-hop. Most of the band mates met during high school and college in or near Madison. They call themselves the beneficiaries of a first-rate public school arts-education program.
Consisting only of horn players and percussionists, the Youngbloods originally got together just for fun. When their fan base began to grow — especially in Europe, where they have toured several times — the musicians decided to turn pro.
Band members make a conscious effort to remember their roots. They are co-founders of Wisconsin's Layered Arts Collective, an arts support group in Madison that keeps the band busy performing concerts and conducting workshops in community schools.
The group joins NPR's Michele Norris for a conversation and performance in NPR's studio 4A.