The Extra Crispy Brass Band (or EC Brass Band or ECBB) plays New Orleans-style brass band music inspired by the great contemporary bands such as the Dirty Dozen, Hot Eight, Rebirth, and New Birth Brass Bands as well as traditional outfits such as the Olympia and Mahogany Brass Bands. The EC Brass Band’s repertoire includes pieces from the turn of last century (1900!), traditionals by Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, modern funk tunes, and originals.
The Extra Crispy Brass Band played its first show on September 1, 2011, at the venerable Uptowner in Riverwest, Milwaukee and has since played a slew of high profile gigs at Bastille Days, Turner Hall Ballroom/Radio 88.9, Burnhearts Fest, and Cathedral Square/WMSE Backyard BBQ, State Fair, and numerous festivals around the state, as well as doing educational shows at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and public schools in greater Milwaukee. They held down a biweekly residency at the Uptowner for a year and a half that became a favorite event for music lovers and swing dancers alike. The ECBB won a WAMI for best horn band/big band of 2014.
Bandleader, vocalist, and trombonist Gregory Cramer formed the band because he missed New Orleans. A resident of the Crescent City in the 1990s, he moved north in 1999 and looked for the Milwaukee version of the Rebirth Brass Band. One day riding his bicycle past Shank Hall he heard the sounds of Mama Digdown’s Brass Band waft out, and he was inspired by that amazing outfit to form his own band (and learn trombone).