The Brass Rail - a quintet of West Michigan brass players - was created for fun. Mike McMinn (cornet, trumpet), Roger Lynch (cornet, trumpet), Chris Garrett (horn) John Dickey (trombone) and Fritz MacDonald (tuba) have dozens years of music training and hundreds of performances between them. Walking onto the Miller Auditorium stage in formal wear for a Kalamazoo Concert Band performance is an experience familiar to all.
But they also share a desire to play for their own collegial entertainment in a public setting. Every third Friday at the Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo, The Brass Rail fire up their iPads and start picking from a playlist of around 200 song arrangements for brass quintet. The list includes Dixieland, show tunes, novelty dances, ballads, Baroque pieces, and more.
In the studio with Cara Lieurance, The Brass Rail plays a half-dozen tunes, and the members talk with trademark humor about the experience of playing in the group.