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Smithsonian Institution
Louisiana, Where Music is KingAmericans Old and NewMidwestern CrossroadsSouthern FusionLouisiana, Where Music is King
Soul Rebels

After the success of the Dirty Dozen proved that New Orleans marching band music could be experimental and contemporary, the floodgates were opened for a new wave of brass music. The Soul Rebels are the most exciting of a young generation of marching bands that pound home rhythms ranging as far afield as reggae and hip-hop. Rapping, soul-shouting, and blasting out an assault of what is, in the truest possible way, heavy metal, the Soul Rebels play a music that is not exactly jazz, not exactly r&b, but unquestionably the hottest dance sound around. As long cars cruise the back of town, their windows rolled down, the Soul Rebels' hip, angry street sound blasts from the tapedecks that anywhere else would be playing the latest LA gangsta rap.
       The Rebels have a hometown reputation almost as tough as their music, but offstage they are thoughtful and articulate, as befits the most proficient rap writers in brass music. They dream of a worldwide success that would allow them to bring back some prosperity to the hard, poor neighborhoods where they got their start and still live. Their lyrics speak of the problems of life in the ghetto, but also of brotherhood and hopes for a brighter future, and their music is utterly uplifting, its fiery power forcing the listeners to forget their troubles, hit the floor and dance.


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