The Hungry March Band is a brass band with approximately 15-20 active musicians and performers. In performance, the group's size can vary from five to fifty: from an intimate quintet to a giant entourage of musicians, dancers, baton twirlers, hula hoopers, and second-liners. HMB has a repertoire of originals and traditionals that borrows from global brass band traditions, including, but not limited to, Balkan gypsy brass bands, Indian wedding bands, and New Orleans second line. The band also references punk rock; techno, hip hop; various jazz traditions, including free jazz and bop; reggae; and chance music. They cite Sun Ra, Charlie Parker, John Cage, the Shyam Brass Band, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Rebirth Brass Band, the Skatalites, Sonic Youth, Weird Al Yankovich and Black Sabbath as influences.
The Hungry March Band was formed in 1997 at the Happy Birthday Hideout for the purpose of performing in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade 1. Some early members were Scott Moore on sousaphone, Cuzn Johnny, Dreiky Caprice, Tim Hoey, Darius 'Boom Boom' Macrum, Noah on percussion, Theresa Westerdahl aka Tara Fire Ball on clarinet, Gam Mitkevich on trombone and Sara Valentine as baton twirler.
Part of the attraction for band members, spectators, and participants alike is the band's ability to move anywhere relatively quickly without need of electricity or artificial amplification. They have become infamous for their participation in audacious performances in unlikely locations, including subway trains, the Staten Island Ferry, and unannounced street events. They have also played numerous outdoor festivals in New York and around Europe, various protest marches, at Rubulad and Gemini & Scorpio events in Brooklyn, and annually in Boston, MA (and Providence, RI) at the HONK! Festival in Somerville, MA. Around New York they have performed at Lincoln Center and countless clubs throughout the five boroughs., ,
Notable gigs and tours:,
2000: Madison Square Garden during one of Ralph Nader's super rallies during his 2000 bid for the presidency of the United States which included a march to the steps of the main branch of the USPS to deliver voter registrations.,
2000: 24-Hour Tom Waits Festival near Poughkeepsie, New York,
2001: Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia, PA,
2004: Summer European Tour (Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands),
2005: Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana,
2005: Summer European Tour (Italy, France),
2006: Summer European Tour (Germany, Italy),
2007: Summer European Tour (Germany, Spain, France),
2009: Summer Tour in France, Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival, Sardinia, Italy,
In 2010, their concert from the 2009 Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival in Sardinia was broadcast on Radio3 throughout Italy.,
On May 27, 2010, their performance of Conduction No. 188 under the baton of Butch Morris was also broadcast nationally throughout Italy.,
2010: West coast US Tour,
2012: XIII Festival Iberioamericano de Teatro, Bogota, Colombia
The band also makes an appearance in John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 movie Shortbus.