Big Smoke Brass wants to rule the world

Written by Joe Taylor

July 05, 2024

Besides the incredible diversity we have with our musical tapestry in Toronto, we have a healthy dose of Horn bands to keep up our spirits in this town. One such band is called Big Smoke Brass. I can assume they mean Big Smoke as in our city of Toronto and not our smoke shops on every corner these days.
I caught them performing last night and I must say these musicians certainly add to the pride we feel knowing we have world class talent floating about. Even though we were gathered in a place that serves liquor, I saw a couple of families out and enjoying the fun energy this band puts out.
They climbed on stage as a five piece horn band and a drummer to hold it all together. They immediately filled the room with joyous noise from the opening note. This lasted about ten minutes as the crowd absorbed every sound they were making.
Thee band played some of their original music, like a piece called, “Animal Spirit”. It was a fun romp with a lightheartedness you can feel for an animal like a deer. They changed pace on the next song as it felt bluesy and had a special swing to it. I went from running with deer to a burlesque show. I can dig this journey.
They decided to fill up our past with classic songs that brings us back to a more innocent time. They covered two Tears for Fears songs, “Everyone wants to rule the world”, and “Shout”. They even went further back and played, Stand by me”.
Just as I was thinking, where is the Canadian content from this band, they played some Nelly Furtado. Then they went down that disco road with songs like “Maneater” and “Funky Town”. They finished strong with James Brown, “I feel good”.
When they came back for the second set, they started as strong as they finished with. “YMCA” was blaring as the crowd in the back of the room started their own dance party. The party continued with Cher’s, “Do you believe”. How do you top that, with Shania Twain of course! They was plenty more dancing to “Man, I feel like a woman”.
Big Smoke Brass played a couple more of their original tune that have a laid back and feel good quality about them. But, you can’t finish of the party this way, so out comes a Michael Jackson medley that completed fulfilled the audience. They are pretty busy these days playing around town, so if you are feeling a little horny and need a fix go to their website and find out where they are playing next.
Shows — Big Smoke Brass (
Here are few shots from last nights performance

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