Amy Duncan & BRASS TACKS
BRASS TACKS, brainchild of pianist/composer/arranger/percussionist Amy Duncan, is a 10-piece jazz band with an instrumentation you won’t find every day: two trumpets, two trombones, two euphoniums, tuba, piano, bass and drums. BRASS TACKS, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, takes off from jazz to explore not only samba and bossa nova, but other influences such as African and Middle Eastern rhythms, as well as funk and salsa.
All of the tunes that BRASS TACKS plays are written and arranged by Amy, who says,
"I put the band together for just that reason, as a vehicle to play my compositions, because I wasn't satisfied with just playing them on the piano--I wanted a bigger, fuller sound."
Amy Duncan began playing piano professionally in the USA at age 15, performing in many clubs and shown, as well as on TV with various groups, including her own trios and quartets. She played several times at the Women's Jazz Festival in Kansas City, where she put together an "All-Star band," that received a glowing review from the famous critic Leonard Feather in Jazz Times magazine.
BRASS TACKS was born in New York in 1984. Amy played many shows and clubs with the band there, among them the Knitting Factory and The Blue Note (where trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Lew Tabackin played with the band on two occasions). Later on BRASS TACKS toured with political comedian Mort Sahl, as house band for his cable TV show. Many excellent musicians have passed through the band, among them the trombonists Delfeayo Marsalis and Robin Eubanks, trumpeters Brian Lynch and Valery Ponamarev, percussionist Richie Flores and drummer Chester Thompson (drummer for Phil Collins).
In 1990 Amy became seriously interested in Brazilian music, especially samba. She learned Rio-style percussion, and ended up playing in the percussion sections of several samba schools in Rio de Janeiro’s famous carnival parades. It was natural that her love for samba would start to influence her compositions and arrangements for BRASS TACKS.
Amy made a move to Rio de Janeiro in 1999, where she reformed BRASS TACKS with Brazilian musicians and recorded her first CD, “My Joy,” in 2002. She is currently preparing to record a second CD.