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Bonerama

Musicians / Band

MUSIC GENRE:
Music Note
  • Rock
INSTRUMENTS:
Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Saxophone
  • Tuba/Sousaphone

Bonerama is a New Orleans-based brass funk-rock band that puts the horn section up front. The band took shape in 1998, when trombonists Craig Klein and Mark Mullins, both members of Harry Connick Jr.’s big band, were looking to feature their trombones on original tunes and more hard-driving rock covers. With its funky grooves and powerhouse horns, the band quickly became an “only in New Orleans” club favorite, but that didn’t last long. Bonerama’s first CD, “Live at the Old Point,” was released in 2001 to much acclaim, and the word was out. The group’s first East Coast tour sold out, and, thanks to their infectious grooves and skilled musicianship, they soon developed a world-wide following. Klein, long a fixture with the Storyville Stompers and other classic brass bands, brings his well-honed sense of showmanship to the Bonerama stage, while Mullins – complete with wah-wah pedal – adds a rock sensibility and song-writing skills to the group. Original members also included trombonists Steve Suter, Rick Trolsen, and Brian O’Neill (Suter and Trolsen left the group in 2009 while O’Neill passed away just after Hurricane Katrina), sousaphonist Matt Perrine, guitarist Bert Cotton, and drummer Eric Bolivar. Perrine and Cotton remain with the band; the current lineup also includes trombonist Greg Hicks and drummer A. J. Hall. Mullins, Klein, and Hicks are also known as The Bonerama Horns, and can often be found backing up visiting artists, serving as the horn section for festivals and benefits, or in the studio with the likes of R.E.M. and Alec Ousworth. Bonerama has toured around the world and headlined both clubs and major festivals. In 2008 they performed the single, “A Million Ways” on The Late Show with David Letterman with vocals by Damian Kulash of OK Go, and released a joint EP with OK Go, “You’re Not Alone,” that same year. They’ve appeared on CNN and on Comic Relief, and can be heard at festivals, clubs, Jam Cruise, and other venues. They’ve engaged in numerous collaborations with artists ranging from Jill Sobule to Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers. Bonerama has released eight full-length and EP CDs. True to the band’s eclectic tastes, their 2017 album “Hot Like Fire” included several originals, covers by Allen Toussaint and Radiohead, with a third song dedicated to New Orleans’ vegetable-purveying legend Mr. Okra. Their 2019 “Bonerama Plays Zeppelin,” offers homage to the classic rock group with creative, energetic interpretations. Most importantly, perhaps, by putting the trombone up front, Bonerama set the stage for the success of New Orleans stars such as Trombone Shorty and Sam Williams of Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and keeping the spotlight on the ever-evolving sound that is New Orleans music.

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