ABLUM REVIEW: Walnut Street Gallery (Boulder, CO)

Kirk Joseph has earned his seat at the table of New Orleans’ greatest musicians and will surely claim his place in music history as perhaps the greatest innovator of his instrument, the sousaphone. For most, a mention of the sousaphone conjures images of marching bands and drum cadences. But in the hands of Joseph, the instrument comes to life in ways that its namesake, John Phillip Sousa, could have hardly imagined. During his long tenure with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Joseph developed his innovative approach to the sousaphone, replacing the instruments limits, as perceived by his predecessors, with a rich musical vocabulary. Never before had such a creative and stylistic range been demonstrated. But the new standards set by

Kirk Joseph has prompted many since to follow his lead. In between performances and recording sessions with Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Anders Osborne and a host of other locally, nationally, and internationally known artists, Joseph began working on his own material in collaboration with some of New Orleans and the countries most talented musicians. The result comes together as the KIRK JOSEPH’S BACKYARD GROOVE, an assemblage featuring the “creme de la creme” of local and national musicians. The music is a tight, rhythmic and high-spirited concoction of jazz, funk, and afro-Caribbean flavors that’s been proven to have a wide appeal. Kirk is now promoting his new album “Sousafunk Ave”, which features many special guests such as: Dr. John, Skerik, Bonerama, Donald Harrison, Charles Joseph and many others. KIRK JOSEPH MASTER OF THE SOUSAFUNK

– Bob Compton, walnutst.com