Soul Rebels
Courtesy of the kurland agency

The Hamilton Live offers two ticket choices: seated ($30) or standing ($25). At first blush, you might think that the seated option for the March 22 Soul Rebels show is the way to go. It’s only five bucks more, and it would potentially allow for the most comfortable concert experience: a clear view of the stage and a sturdy place to set your drink (and your bum). Why stand, when you could sit, right? Well, friends, I am here to tell you that, in this instance, sitting when you could be standing is not the correct decision. The Soul Rebels, an eight-piece brass band from New Orleans, bring a groove that will spur even the most rhythm-challenged individuals (including yours truly) to their feet. The ensemble that have collaborated with musicians from Katy Perry and G-Eazy to Metallica, blend funk and soul with jazz and hip-hop to create an infectious sound and irresistible energy. Marcus Hubbard, one of the two trumpet players, who joined the band 22 years ago, says the group’s diversity allows them to stretch across genres and generations. “It keeps us connected to what is going on and what was going on in different eras,” Hubbard says. “We have guys pulling from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s. That’s why when you come to our show there’s so much different music. We give everybody in the band an opportunity to express themselves musically.” The Soul Rebels celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2021, but have seen their profile skyrocket in recent years. They backed Wu-Tang MC GZA on his Tiny Desk concert in 2018, and later headlined the global TED Conference. In 2019, the ensemble released their most recent album, Poetry in Motion, featuring the likes of Big Freedia, Kermit Ruffins, Robert Glasper, PJ Martin, and Trombone Shorty, among others. ESPN drew from that album for its college basketball productions (“Greatness”), as did the Netflix show #blackAF (“Good Time”). Still not convinced? Would it help to know that Chuck Brown’s discography is well within their repertoire? “Go-go has a kinda similar vibe to our New Orleans brass band music and culture,” Hubbard says. “So it seems to have some type of kinship, so anytime we go to D.C. we’re always looking forward to it.” The Soul Rebels play at 8 p.m. on March 22 at Hamilton Live. $25–$30.