Hungry March Band

Hungry March Band

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Hungry March Band

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Origin = New York City
Genre = Brass Band/Marching Band
Years_active = 1997–present
Label = The Hungry March Band has self-produced four full-length CDs
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members = Percussion: Theresa Westerdahl aka Tara Fire Ball, Samantha Tsistinas, Kris Anton, Quince Marcum, Rich Hutchins, Julie Hair, Ben Holtzman, Samuel Fairey, Kevin Raczka, Emily Geller, Adam Loudermilk
Tubas: Don Godwin
Trombones: Ben Meyers, Sebastian Isler, Jen Emma
Saxes: Emily Fairey, Sasha Sumner, Jason Candler, Okkon Yokoyama, Ruth Walker
Trumpets: Cousin Johnny, Atsushi Tsumura, Dee Jay Mush One, JR Hankins
Pleasure Society: Sara Valentine, Sandra Glazer, Urania Mylonas, Albert Guitjens, Lady Evelyn Fugate, Liberty Guitjens
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

The Hungry March Band is a street band with approximately 25 active musicians and performers. In performance, the group's size can vary from five to fifty: from an intimate quintet to a giant entourage of musicians, dancers, baton twirlers, hula hoopers, and second-liners. HMB has a repertoire of originals and traditionals that borrows from global brass band traditions, including, but not limited to, Balkan gypsy brass bands, Indian wedding bands, and New Orleans second line. The band also references punk rock; techno, hip hop; various jazz traditions, including free jazz and bop; reggae; and chance music. They cite Sun Ra, Charlie Parker, John Cage, the Shyam Brass Band, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Rebirth Brass Band, the Skatalites, Sonic Youth and Black Sabbath as influences.


The Hungry March Band was formed in 1997 at the Happy Birthday Hideout for the purpose of performing in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade [] . Some early members were Scott Moore on sousaphone, Cuzn Johnny on trumpet, Sara Valentine as baton twirler, Dreiky Caprice, Tim Hoey, Darius 'Boom Boom' Macrum and Noah on percussion, Theresa Westerdahl aka Tara Fire Ball on clarinet and Gam Mitkevich on trombone.


Part of the attraction for band members, spectators, and participants alike is the band's ability to move anywhere relatively quickly without need of electricity or artificial amplification. They have become infamous for their participation in audacious performances in unlikely locations, including subway trains, the Staten Island Ferry, and unannounced street events. They have also played numerous outdoor festivals in New York and around Europe, various protest marches, and at Madison Square Garden during one of Ralph Nader's super rallies during his 2000 bid for the presidency of the United States which included a rally on the steps of the main branch of the USPO. HMB toured Europe in the summers of 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007; New Orleans, Louisiana during Mardi Gras 2005; has often played at Rubulad in Brooklyn; and has also performed in Providence, RI, at the HONK! Festival in Somerville, MA, at the Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia, PA, and at the 24-Hour Tom Waits Festival near Poughkeepsie, New York.

The band also makes an appearance in John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 movie Shortbus.


"Hungry March Band Official Bootleg" (2000)
"On the Waterfront" (2002)
"Critical Brass" (2005)
"Portable Soundtracks for Temporary Utopias" (2007)

Official Bootleg

The first Hungry March Band CD is a fairly accurate reflection of what the band was doing for the first few years of its existence. Several tracks were recorded at the now-defunct Rubulad art space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the fall of 1999, but most of them were culled from field recordings made by band members. The opening track, "Disco Bhangra," was recorded at the Ship's Mast bar on Kent Avenue.

Most of the material was improvised based on loose structural ideas that were conceived by sousaphonist Scott Moore, and designed to allow for maximum improvisation and spontanaeity.

The CD arrangement was completed by Ben Meyers & Scott Moore but never officially released.

On the Waterfront

"On the Waterfront" was recorded in two sessions in 2001 with the entire band playing live into two microphones (one for the bass drum and one for the band at large). It was recorded in a loft apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by John Gurrin and edited by HMB member Jason Candler. The cover art is by East Village artist Fly. This disc is named after and dedicated to the vacant lot on the East River in Brooklyn where the band used to rehearse and to which it attributes its miraculous rebirth.

Critical Brass

This CD was recorded at LOHO Studios on Clinton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side a few weeks after the Hungry March Band returned from its first European tour. In a similar style to "On the Waterfront", the entire thing was recorded live, but this time with many well-placed microphones, and in a more controlled sound environment. It was produced by Jason Candler and the Hungry March Band, recorded by Joe Hogan, and contains cover art by Troy Frantz.

Portable Soundtracks for Temporary Utopias

Recorded in March, 2007 at The Hook in Red Hook, Brooklyn, this CD was produced by Danny Blume, Matt Moran and the Hungry March Band, and mastered by Scott Hull. HMB member Jason Candler provided additional production. It almost exclusively comprises original material written by band members, and the cover art is by Samantha Tsistinas with design work by Julie Hair, both of whom are percussionists in the band.


They are continually planning events and future tours which include a West Coast tour, returning to Europe, and a brass band festival in NYC for 2009.

Related performance projects

The following is an incomplete list of other musical and theatrical projects that involve or have involved members of the Hungry March Band:

Ram Umbus (Scott Moore, John Lewis)
Crash Worship (Dreiky Caprice)
Nimble One Minded Animals Here (Scott Moore)
Sink Manhattan (Scott Moore)
THRUST(Tara Fire Ball)
Tung Fa Lupa (Tara Fire Ball, Tim Hoey)
Female Bureau of Investigation (Sasha Sumner)
Live Skull (Julie Hair, Rich Hutchins [] )
Of Cabbages and Kings (Rich Hutchins [] )
Digitalis (Julie Hair, Rich Hutchins [] )
Ruin... (Rich Hutchins [] )
3 Teens Kill 4 (Julie Hair)
Bite Like A Kitty (Julie Hair)
Guarsh (Jason Candler) []
The University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band (John Barker)
The Bleeding Reeds (Emily Fairey, Greg Squared, Jason Candler, Okkon Yokoyama)
The Bindlestiff Family Circus (Ben Meyers, Tim Hoey, Kris Anton) []
Torch Job (Samantha Tsistinas, Tara Fire Ball) []
Scorchers (Dee Jay Mush One, Ben Shanley) []
Fireproof (Ben Shanley, Anders Nelson, Dee Jay Mush One)
Circus Amok (Ben Meyers) []
Little Miss Big Mouth (Sara Valentine, Kris Anton, Rich Hutchins [] )
Neues Kabarett (Urania Mylonas)
Juliet Echo (Jen Emma, Rich Hutchins [] )
Jollyship the Whiz-Bang (Tim Hoey, Kris Anton)
Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping (Sasha Sumner, Urania Mylonas) []
Earth People (Jason Candler) []
Gelcaps/Millbrook Falls/The Lids(Doug Anson, Gam)
Guitar Trips [] (Doug Anson)
Aleister [] (Doug Anson)
Doug Douglas and the Road Agents(Doug Anson)
The Woes (Joe Keady) []
Zagnuts Cirkus Orchestar (Greg Squared) []
Rude Mechanical Orchestra (Michele Hardesty, Joe Keady, Ben Meyers, Rich Hutchins [] , Quince Marcum, Julie Hair, Jean Loscalzo) []
Veveritse (JR Hankins, Don Godwin, Joe Keady, Greg Squared, Emily Geller, Quince Marcum, Sarah Ibrahim)
Stagger Back Brass Band (Michele Hardesty, Quince Marcum, Joe Keady, Don Godwin, Greg Squared, JR Hankins)
The Red Hook Ramblers (Joe Keady)
Squeezebox (Joe Keady)
Phideaux (Rich Hutchins [] , Julie Hair) [] )
Lubricated Goat (Rich Hutchins [] )


* [ Shortbus - film by John Cameron Mitchell - appearance and music]

* [ La “Hungry March Band” da New York al Poco Loco di Alghero]

* [ The Rise of Gypsy Punkers - by Ben Sisario- NY Times - July 2, 2005]

* [ The Hungry March Band are metal heads of another sort - by Brooke Edwards - The Villager -Volume 76, Number 4 February 28 - March 6, 2007]
* [ Playing Oompah In the Key Of Whatever; A Brooklyn Band Marches To a Different Sousaphone- by Andy Newman - NY Times - June 29, 2000]

External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ CD Baby]
* [ Live radio performance on WFMU]
* [ Band Page]

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