Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm CDT
Joined by vocal powerhouse Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, they continue to forge ahead with a 2021 headline tour and more new music.
“There is a history to the band, yet we continue to release and perform new material,” says Stanton. “I’m truly excited for our fans and audience to hear this next record we’ve been working on. I think it’s some of our best work yet.”
They laid the groundwork for this future upon coming together in 1994. Two years later, the guys dropped their full-length debut, Coolin’ Off, and hopped in a Ford Econoline van (with trailer in tow) for their very first official tour. Along the way, they released seminal albums such as 2007’s From the Corner to the Block, boasting collabs with the likes of Chali 2na, Juvenile, Trombone Shorty, DJ Z-Trip, and Boots Riley. During 2015, Into The Deep marked their first debut in the Top 25 of the Billboard Top 200 and second straight #1 bow on the Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart. Not to mention, it boasted the title track “Into The Deep” [feat. Macy Gray], racking up nearly 20 million streams and counting. Along the way, they performed alongside the likes of Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, Jack Johnson, Talib Kweli, the Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, Counting Crows, James Brown, and many more. They’ve also recorded and performed with the likes of Allen Toussaint [“Bacchus”] and Big Freedia “Double It”]. Most recently, 2019’s Already Ready Already garnered acclaim from New York Times, NPR Weekend Edition, Exclaim!, and many more, while they’ve appeared on the covers of Downbeat and Relix Magazine.
Around the same time, they welcomed Jelly to the fold after joining forces on stage for a handful of unforgettable performances.
“I was super nervous at first, because I had some pretty big shoes to fill—but like those other singers I had to bring myself and I think I’ve fit in pretty well,” Jelly smiles.
“Jelly came to Fuji Rock in Japan with us to sing background with Macy Gray,” recalls Stanton. “We needed someone to sing one of our Galactic originals, and she stepped up. Since there was no time for rehearsal or soundcheck, she showed up prepared, knew the tune completely, and rocked it. When it came time to find someone new to sing with us, she was our first choice. She has such effortless stage presence and a very comfortable rapport with audiences. She also brings an element of unbridled fun!”
That fun came across loud and clear on the 2020 single “Float.” Uplifted by Jelly’s powerhouse pipes, it hinted at the potential of their collective chemistry.
“I love listening to Galactic’s older records, because they were very funk driven,” Jelly goes on. “Now, it seems like they’re incorporating more pop, rock, and soul to create a newer sound.”
As they continue writing, recording, and performing, Galactic always keep New Orleans close to their hearts at all times. In 2018, the band purchased and took over one of the city’s most hallowed venues—Tipitina’s Nightclub. Their history with the venue even predated the band as Ben’s first job was as a cook in the old kitchen, while they’ve graced its stage more than 100 times over the years.
In the end, Galactic keep moving forward as they add more chapters to their incredible history.
“We’ve just achieved 25 years as a band of brothers, so we know how to work with each other and move ourselves through the next 25 years,” Robert leaves off. “We’re always trying to push ourselves with our songwriting and studio collaborations. I look forward to where the future will take us.”
From its organic beginnings in the summer of 2013 as a group of New Orleans trumpeters getting together at Ashlin’s apartment to share practice techniques and support each other’s continued growth, the Trumpet Mafia has become a band of creative excellence with unexpected arrangements that mix traditional jazz and hip hop styles.
As indicated in this interview at Ingolstadt Jazz Fest in Germany, the Trumpet Mafia grew out of those early "sheds" or practice sessions.
Stephen Maloney of Offbeat Magazine overheard some of the early practice sessions and began writing about and recording them. His article, “Trumpet Mafia Takes Over,” describes their early development.
After well-received gigs at Tulane University, WWOZ, Snug Harbor and the Jazz Playhouse, the Trumpet Mafia “took over” Jazz Fest in 2015. Offbeat Magazine contained an excellent review that celebrated the band’s festival debut. The writer noted that “At the end of the set, the entire crowd jumped to its feet for a sustained standing ovation. It was a magnificent coming out party for an immensely talented band.”
The Trumpet Mafia has played at every subsequent Jazz Fest, with guest artists such as Leroy Brown, Adam Rapa, Nicolas Payton and Maurice Brown. They have played at other festivals and special events in New Orleans, such as French Quarter Fest and Satchmo Summerfest. In 2017, they were recognized with Offbeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Emerging Artist.
In 2019, their performance at Jazz Fest was a rousing tribute to the late Roy Hargrove, as described in Offbeat Magazine: “The Trumpet Mafia, like Joshua’s army of trumpeters that blew down the walls of Jericho, could not be denied. The kindly mob, headed by “Godfather” Ashlin Parker, triumphed in talent and sheer numbers with some 20 eager brass players making a joyful noise. One-time resident, the always dramatic Maurice Brown, who, like pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford, seemed to pop up all over the festival, was in the Mafia’s number. In dedication to the recently deceased trumpet giant Roy Hargrove, Parker brought in students of Hargrove’s alma mater, Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School.” Downbeat also gave a very positive review of their performance.
As the Trumpet Mafia has coalesced as a performing unit, it also has expanded as a concept, with membership expanding to include trumpeters in countries such as Japan, Australia, Switzerland, and Russia, as well as numerous locations in the United States. Now, the Trumpet Mafia intentionally includes children and teenagers so that they may grow and thrive from the experience of working alongside more skilled and experienced musicians in actual performance events such as large festivals. At the same time, older musicians draw inspiration from the energy and talent of the young people. The 2019 JazzAscona festival in Switzerland recognized this unique design and invited Ashlin to lead the Trumpet Mafia project for the seven days of the 10 day festival, which included shared learning experiences with trumpeters from beginners to masters as well as pop up performances. To watch a brief interview about the Trumpet Mafia at Jazz Ascona, click here.