What Cheer? Brigade is a brass band with approximately 18 active members from Providence, Rhode Island. They perform using exclusively brass instruments and drums in a variety of world styles, such as Indian Bollywood music, Balkan brass, klezmer, as well as American styles such as hip hop, rock, and New Orleans second line music.
What Cheer? Brigade was formed in 2005, drawing inspiration from street brass bands in other cities like New York's Hungry March Band and San Francisco's Extra Action Marching Band. Its first rehearsals were held in Providence's India Point Park. The band's name comes from the motto of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, What Cheer?
In July 2011 the band was hired to perform at Super Ball IX, a 3 day festival held in Watkins Glen NY. The festival was one of several held by Phish, a jam band from Burlington, VT.
In 2011 the band, along with New Orleans bounce group Vockah Redu & the Cru, joined rapper B. Dolan's Church of Love and Ruin tour of the northeastern US, after collaborating with Dolan on a song for his album Fallen House, Sunken City.
In 2010, WC?B was one of eight musical groups chosen to perform at the Haizetara Street Music International Contest in Amorebieta-Etxano, Basque country, where they won the Best in Festival award and €10,000 during their European tour of Spain, France, and Italy. That same year the band also performed at the Newport Folk Festival and the Northeast Kingdom Music Festival. In its coverage of the Newport Folk Festival, SPIN magazine named the band one of the festival's "8 Best Moments," noting that they "dominated Folk Fest like a headliner" and "were a thunderous treat at each turn.".
In a review of a concert with Javelin in New York City, later in 2010, the New York Times described the "punkish, face-painted brass band" as "thrillingly competent, with undimmable energy."
In 2009 the band performed with Dan Deacon at Lollapalooza in support of his album, Bromst.
In 2008 the band performed in Machias, Maine, at the Beehive Design Collective's Blackfly Ball and also shared a bill later that year with the B-52s.
In 2007 the band performed at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary and at the Guča trumpet festival in Serbia, as well as in Germany and the Czech Republic.
The band has also performed at the HONK! festival each year since 2006, at Providence Sound Session since 2007, and has played alongside artists such as Lightning Bolt, Okkervil River, Trombone Shorty, Matt and Kim, and many others.
Joey L DeFrancesco - Trumpet/Sousaphone (2009-present),
Evan Desautels - Trumpet (2011-present),
Nick Horton - Trumpet (2005-present),
Larry Mauk - Trumpet (2006-present),
Rob Pecchia - Trumpet (2011-present),
Jesse Teixeira - Trumpet (2010-present),
Nathan Wolman - Trumpet (2012 - present),
Mitchell Barys - Trumpet (2014-present),
Jack McAuliffe - Trumpet (2014- present),
Sarah Thomas - Cornet (2014-present),
Tal Gur - Soprano Saxophone (2011-present),
Katie Keehan - Alto Saxophone (2006-present),
Michael Jeffries - Baritone Saxophone (2005-present),
Chris Erway - Trombone (2005-present),
Rob MacInnis - Trombone (2010-2013),
Susan Sakash - Trombone (2007-2013),
Hannah Zoll - Trombone (2012-present),
Johanna Walczak - Trombone (2013-present),
Julie Pittman - Trombone (2013-present),
Gregory Burbank - Sousaphone (2006-present),
Daniel Schleifer - Sousaphone (2005-present),
Ben Nadler - Snare Drum (2010-2013),
Brian St. Pierre - Snare Drum (2012-present),
Norlan Olivo - Bass Drum (2010-present),
Chop Chop - Tri-toms (2005-present),
John Slaby - Snare Drum (2009-2012),
Mindy Stock - Bass Drum (2008-2012),
Jori Ketten - Bass Drum (2012-present),
CJ Jimenez - Cymbals (2012-present),
As mentioned above, the band took the grand prize at the invitational Haizetara Street Music International Contest in 2010. In 2010 WC?B also was chosen as "Best Category-Defying Act" by the Providence Phoenix Best Music Poll., a designation it also won in 2007. In 2010 the band also won "Best New Band (Rhode Island)" in the Boston Phoenix "50 Bands, 50 States" contest. In 2007 the band was awarded "Best Riff on a Marching Band" by Rhode Island Monthly as one of its "Best of RI" editor's picks.