The Hot 8 Brass Band is a New Orleans based brass band that blends hip-hop, jazz and funk styles with traditional New Orleans brass sounds. It was formed by Bennie Pete, Jerome Jones, and Harry Cook in 1995, the merging of two earlier bands, the Looney Tunes Brass Band and the High Steppers Brass Band.
Since June 2007 the band has been signed to the UK's Tru Thoughts label, that label's first U.S. act.
The Hot 8 Brass Band plays in second line parades hosted Sunday afternoons by Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; in the New Orleans metropolitan area they also play at traditional jazz funerals and at local jazz nightclubs.
They play regularly at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and have played in the Zulu Parade, San Antonio Zulu Association Festival, the City of New Orleans New Year's Celebration and Mo' Fest, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and the Master P music video "Hootie Hoo". The Hot 8 Brass Band has also toured in Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Finland and England.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Hot 8 Brass Band was propelled to wider prominence by an appearance in Spike Lee's 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Because of this appearance, according to National Public Radio, "A new legion of fans caught onto the band's mix of traditional marching music, hip hop, and R&B."
In 2009, the band added its New Orleans style to an "Iko Iko" cover song of the Swiss band Schtärneföifi, who re-recorded their Swiss German version from 1995's Heicho - Ohni Znacht is Bed together with The Dixie Cups in New Orleans. The song was released on the new album, Wältberüemt.
Four members of the band have died since its formation. Past and present band members include:
Bennie "Big Peter" Pete (sousaphone and band leader),
Terrell "Burger" Batiste (trumpet),
Harry "Swamp Thang" Cook (bass drum),
Jerome "Baybay" Jones (trombone),
Alvarez "B.I.G. AL" Huntley (trumpet),
Dinerral "Dick" Shavers (snare drum),
Raymond "Dr. Rackle" Williams (trumpet),
Maurice "Moe" Curtis (trumpet),
Keith "Wolf" Anderson (trombone),
Jereau "Cousin" Fournett (trombone),
Wendell "Cliff" Stewart (saxophone),
Demond "Bart" Dorsey (trombone),
Jacob Johnson (trumpet),
Joseph "Shotgun Joe" Williams (trombone),
Gregory "Koon" Veals (trombone),
Derrick Tabb (snare drum)