yoshis w logo 2011 1024x768  Oakland’s Jazz Party Band

The birth of jazz music is one of America’s greatest fortunes. In 2004, under the direction of pianist/trumpeter/composer Jara Ra, a group of five young men came together with a common love for jazz’s brazen, bombastic roots. Blue Bone Express was thus formed: “Blue” for the inspiration of blues music and “blue notes”; “Bone” for the deep feeling of sound & rhythm reverberating under our skin; and “Express” for the swift deliverance of this timeless & nostalgic music into the present experience.

BBX plays music inspired by New Orleans traditions of jazz and the parade music of the “second line” and Mardi Gras, and the music popularly termed as Dixieland in the early days of recording. Though brass band music has grown trendy since the band was started, BBX maintains a distinct, exciting sound due to their signature sousaphone, marching bass drum, and raucous piano grooves. The trumpet, baritone sax, and trombone blow collective improvisations that lift the spirit when combined with the popping snare drum. At one moment you’ll think you’re hearing early Louis Armstrong, and in the next, something more modern like the Rebirth Brass Band.

For over ten years, Blue Bone Express has been entrenched in the Oakland arts revival scene, often playing Oakland’s monthly Art Murmur. For over six years they held court monthly at Oakland’s famed Cafe Van Kleef, often being joined on stage by San Francisco burlesque starlets Hot Pink Feathers.

The original five are still going strong and are ready to bring the music, the spirit, and the party. Their show is not just a spectacle, but an immersive experience once the guys step down from the stage to second line through the crowd with their outstretched horns. The configurable/expandable unit is available for all occasions and hopes to play for you some day soon.

Header Photo by Jara Ra, Band Photo by Sandra Michaan