WWOZ wishes a great big second-line Happy Birthday to first-rate sousaphonist Phil Frazier! Phil started the Rebirth Brass Band in 1982 along with his brother Keith, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, and some high-school friends in the Tremé area of New Orleans.
The band's funky sound — propelled by Frazier's syncopated basslines — fuses brass band tradition with modern jazz and soul, helping kick off a renaissance of New Orleans brass bands. They've become one of the most popular bands in town and around the country, and thanks to extensive touring, Rebirth has followings in several countries around the world.
Although 43-year-old Frazier was hospitalized in December 2008, he rejoined Rebirth on January 31 at the Howlin' Wolf. The band recently celebrated its 25th anniversary — here's hoping for another 25 years!