RICHMOND, Va. — A recently released study suggests that approximately 17 percent of Richmonders are members of the local funk-jazz musical group No BS! Brass Band.
This is shockingly low, due to the band’s seemingly immense size in relation to Richmond’s population.
The study, performed by the Mid-Atlantic Institute of Local Musician Population, aimed to determine the correlation of large musical acts and census demographics.
“We didn’t think it’d be this high of a figure,” explained Spencer Grafton, who led the study. “Our hypothesis called for 12, maybe 13 percent tops.”
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The band’s humble genesis was in 2006, when 91 musician friends decided that they sounded pretty good when they would get together and casually mess around in a Floyd Avenue basement. They booked their first gig for a jazz brunch at a small cafe later that year and have been growing ever since. By the end of 2012, No BS! Brass Band made up eight percent of Richmond’s population, and they’ve doubled these numbers over the span of only five years.
“We found that the greatest surge occurred when they began selling out shows at The Broadberry,” Grafton continued.
Carl Franconia, one of the band’s 836 trumpet players, expressed that he’s really OK with being in a modestly-sized band.
“I think we’ll get to 25 or 30 percent within the next year or so,” he said. “But for now, I think I speak for the group when I say that 17 percent is nothing to scoff at. We’re happy with where we are as musicians, but if what we have going now just happens to turn into something bigger, then that’s OK too.”
Most of the large fanbase the band enjoys in it’s hometown aren’t surprised by the findings either. “Really, all you have to do is go to one of their shows and stand at the front, facing the audience,” commented longtime supporter Shelly Dumont. “You’re basically a band member at that point.”
When asked what the group’s next step is, Franconia relayed that No BS! Brass Band plans on releasing an album with acoustic, stripped-down versions of their songs.
“We like to cut out the bs, as our name suggests, and we really want our fans to have an intimate experience with our music. I think that we’re just the right size to do something like this, but at the rate we’re growing, it might be difficult to do in the future.”
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