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The Canadian Brass is a Canadian brass quintet formed in 1970 in Toronto, Ontario, by Charles Daellenbach (tuba) and Gene Watts (trombone), using horn player Graeme Page and trumpets Stuart Laughton and Bill Phillips to complete the quintet. As of 2018, the quintet is composed of trumpeters Caleb Hudson and Chris Coletti, hornist Jeff Nelsen, trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos and tubist Charles Daellenbach.

Canadian Brass
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1970 (1970)–present
Past membersSee members section
Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre

The group (known for their unique performance attire of formal black suits with white running shoes) performs internationally and has recorded more than 130 CDs and DVDs. They have commissioned, performed, and recorded hundreds of transcriptions and original works for brass quintet. Canadian Brass has a library of more than 600 compositions and arrangements specially and uniquely fashioned for them. In the next 50 years of the group, the intention is concentrating on new compositions for Quintet.

The band has been named the "one of the most popular brass ensembles in the world" by The Washington Post.[1] Explaining the incorporation of humor into their stage performances, the group has always maintained that they are simply being themselves on stage, while performing at the highest artistic levels.

This ensemble has appeared on all the major North American TV networks, Late Night with Johnny Carson, CBS Sunday Morning and most recently on Hunan TV in China with more than 500,000 viewers. Their awards range from three honorary doctorates to Grammy, Canadian Juno and German Echo recording awards. Most recently, founder Daellenbach was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour, in 2014.[2] He accepted this appointment, saying, "not only do I accept this appointment for my family and myself, but on behalf of the incredible colleagues that accompanied me on this unbelievable musical journey ... firstly Watts, Mills, Romm, Page and Ohanian and now the '2nd generation' colleagues of today!"



The Canadian Brass originally included "ensemble" in its name, but in 1971, the Hamilton Philharmonic's then-music director Betty Webster suggested that the quintet would be officially named the Canadian Brass.

The Canadian Brass made its American debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1975. A significant international visit was made in 1977 when they were sent to mainland China as a cultural exchange between Canada and China.[3] The ensemble was chosen and sent on this cultural mission by then-Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. They are now remembered in China as the first Western musicians allowed into China after the Cultural Revolution had suppressed Western art and music.

In 1979, the Canadian Brass became the first chamber ensemble to solo the main stage at Carnegie Hall.[4] As The New York Times reported, their sold-out performance "clearly establishes the Canadian Brass as a main-stage attraction." In addition to their heavy international touring schedule for nearly 50 years, and their extensive recording catalog, they have been on the Billboard charts in each decade of their existence, recording for RCA Records, BMG, Columbia Records, SONY, Philips Decca, Steinway Label and Opening Day Entertainment occupying virtually all the spots open to brass players. As of 2018, the Canadian Brass recordings have been released by Toronto-based Opening Day Entertainment Group (ODEG), headed by the Daellenbachs.

The first recordings the Brass created were for the CBC radio transcription service, including their very first major concert in Toronto the summer of 1971. Record producer Eleanor Sniderman discovered the group and put the group on its first commercial LPs in 1973 and 1974, which then attracted major artist management in New York City. In 1977, the same year the Brass represented North America in the People's Republic of China, a live radio broadcast on WQXR was heard by multi-Grammy award-winning producer Jay Saks, who was impressed, and brought the group to the prestigious RCA Red Seal label. The ensemble was then scouted by CBS records, soon to be Sony, where they recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony brass players, establishing a repertoire that is now standard for expanded brass ensembles.

When the group's former manager, Costa Pilavachi, assumed the post of "Head of A&R" at Philips Records in the Netherlands, he lured the Brass to his new label, establishing a new European presence for the group. In 1992, the Brass returned to RCA, releasing fourteen albums in eight years, including Bach's Goldberg Variations, for which the group won a German Echo award.

Stuart Laughton founded Opening Day in 1993, as a recording company specializing in Canadian performers and compositions (five JUNO nominations and a win resulted). By 2003 Laughton was seeking a partner for the heavy work load, and in talks with Chuck Daellenbach agreed to share, then relinquish control. Daellenbach extended the scope of the company, creating Opening Day Entertainment Group and entering into partnership with producer Trey Mills later that year. Mills signed over to Mary Beth Daellenbach in December, 2007. Opening Day Entertainment Group remains an independent recording label co-directed by Mary Beth and Chuck Daellenbach. As of 2014 ODEG has released over 70 CDs for artists in a variety of genres.




  • Stuart Laughton – trumpet (1970–1971, 2003–2005)
  • Graeme Page – french horn (1970–1983)
  • Bill Phillips – trumpet (1970–1972)
  • Gene Watts – trombone, euphonium (1970–2010)
  • Ronald Romm – trumpet, piccolo trumpet (1971–2000; "Trumpet Dream Team", 2006–2010)
  • Martin Hackleman – French horn (1983–1986)
  • Fred Mills – trumpet, piccolo trumpet (1972–1996; died 2009)
  • David Ohanian – french horn (1986–1998)
  • Jens Lindemann – trumpet, piccolo trumpet (1996–2001)
  • Christopher Cooper – French horn (1998–2000)
  • Ryan Anthony – trumpet, piccolo trumpet (2000–2003; "Trumpet Dream Team", 2006–2010)
  • Joe Burgstaller – trumpet, piccolo trumpet (2001–2004, 2007–2009)
  • Jeroen Berwaerts – trumpet ("Trumpet Dream Team" (2006–2010)
  • Bernhard Scully – french horn (2004–2007, 2013–2017)
  • Charles Lazarus – trumpet ("Trumpet Dream Team", 2005)
  • Justin Emerich – trumpet (2005–2006)
  • Brandon Ridenour – trumpet ("Trumpet Dream Team", 2006–2010; 2009–2013)
  • Manon Lafrance – trumpet ("Trumpet Dream Team", 2006–2010)
  • Eric Reed – French horn (2010–2013)
  • Keith Dyrda – trombone, euphonium (2010–2011)


  • Canadian Brass (1971) CBC
  • Rag-Ma-Tazz (1973) CBC
  • Make We Joy (1973) CBC – with Festival Singers of Canada
  • Royal Fanfare (1973) Boot Master Concert Series
  • Canadian Brass in Paris (1973) Boot Master Concert Series
  • Rag-Ma-Tazz (1974) Boot Master Concert Series
  • A Touch of Brass (1974) Welk Group
  • Canadian Brass: Pachelbel to Joplin (1974) Welk Group
  • Pucker & Valve Society Band (1975) Umbrella
  • Unexplored Territory (1977) CBC – with Don Gillis Jazz Quartet
  • Canadian Brass Plus Organ (1977) CBC w/organist Doug Haas
  • Toccata, Fugues & Other Diversions (1977) Umbrella Direct-to-Disk
  • Canadian Brass Encore (1977) CBC
  • Bells and Brass (1978) Independent – with carillonneur Gordon Slater
  • Mostly Fats; Fats Waller's Greatest Hits (1979) RCA Red Seal
  • Pachelbel Canon & Other Great Baroque Hits (1980) RCA Red Seal
  • Christmas with the Canadian Brass and the Great Organ of St. Patrick's Cathedral (1981) RCA Red Seal – with organist John Grady
  • The Village Band (1981) RCA Red Seal
  • Champions (1983) CBS
  • Canadian Brass Greatest Hits (1983) RCA Red Seal
  • High, Bright, Light and Clear (1983) RCA Red Seal
  • Ain't Misbehavin' and Other Fats Waller Hits (1984) RCA Red Seal
  • Brass in Berlin (1984) Columbia Masterworks – with Berlin Philharmonic brass
  • Canadian Brass Live! (1984) Columbia Masterworks
  • A Canadian Brass Christmas (1985) Columbia
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (1986) Columbia Masterworks
  • Basin Street (1987) CBS
  • Strike Up the Band – Canadian Brass Plays Gershwin (1987) RCA Red Seal
  • Bach: The Art of Fugue (1988) Columbia Masterworks
  • The Mozart Album (1988) Columbia Masterworks
  • Canadian Brass More Greatest Hits (1988) RCA Victor
  • Best of the Canadian Brass (1989) Columbia
  • Gabrieli/Monteverdi: Antiphonal Music (1990) Columbia Masterworks – with members of the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama
  • English Renaissance Music (1990) Columbia
  • The Christmas Album (1990) Philips - with Elmer Iseler Singers See also D'où viens-tu, bergère?
  • Beethoven Fifth Symphony & Overtures (1991) Philips – with Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic brass, conducted by Georg Tintner
  • Red, White & Brass: Made in the USA (1991) Philips – with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Lukas Foss
  • The Essential Canadian Brass (1991) Philips
  • Red Hot Jazz: The Dixieland Album (1992) Philips
  • Wagner for Brass (1992) Philips – with members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival, conducted by Edo de Waart
  • Rejoice! – Brass and Voice (1993) ODEG – with Indiannoplis Children's Choir
  • An Evening of Brass Theater (1994) ODEG
  • Brass on Broadway (1994) Philips – with Luther Henderson
  • Gabrieli for Brass (1994) Philips – with members of the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Elmer Iseler
  • Noel (1994) RCA Victor – with James Galway, King's Singers, Angel Romero & others
  • Bolero & Other Great Melodies (1995) RCA Victor
  • Brass Busters (1995) RCA Victor – with New York Philharmonic & Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Fireworks: Baroque Brass Favorites (1995) RCA Victor Red Seal
  • Go for Baroque! (1995) RCA Victor
  • Ragtime (1995) RCA Victor
  • Renaissance Men (1995) RCA Victor
  • Swingtime! (1995) RCA Victor
  • Brass Theater II with Star of Indiana (1995) ODEG
  • Brass Theater III with Star of Indiana (1996) ODEG
  • Canadian Brass Plays Bernstein (1996) RCA Victor
  • The Canadian Brass Live in Germany (1997) RCA Victor
  • Christmas Experiment (1997) RCA Victor
  • All You Need is Love (1998) RCA Victor
  • A Christmas Gloria (1999) Telarc – with Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • Take the "A" Train (1999) RCA Victor
  • Celebration (1999) ODEG – with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Super Hits (2000) Sony
  • Bach Goldberg Variations (2001) RCA Victor
  • CBC Radio Years (2001) CBC
  • Holidays with Canadian Brass (2002) RCA Victor
  • Sacred Brass (2002) RCA Victor
  • Amazing Brass (2002) ODEG/LINUS
  • Sweet Songs of Christmas (2002) ODEG
  • A Holiday Tradition (2003) LINUS
  • Magic Horn (2004) ODEG
  • Joyful Sounds with organ and choir (2005) ODEG
  • High Society" (2006) ODEG
  • People of Faith (2006) ODEG – with Elmer Iseler Singers
  • Wedding Essentials (2006) ODEG
  • Concert Band Essentials (2007) ODEG
  • Christmas Tradition (2007) ODEG – with organist Eric Roberson
  • Bach (2008) ODEG
  • Legends (2008) ODEG
  • Jazz Roots (2008) ODEG
  • Manhattan Music (2008) ODEG – with the Eastman Wind Ensemble
  • Echo – Glory of Gabrieli (2009) ODEG
  • Swing That Music – A Tribute to Louis Armstrong (2010) ODEG
  • Stars & Stripes" – Canadian Brass Salute America (2010) ODEG - with members of NEXUS
  • Spirit Dance (2010) ODEG – with pianist David Braid
  • A Very Merry Christmas (2010) ODEG – with various artists
  • The Classics: From Pachelbel to Purcell (2011) ODEG
  • The Classics: Between Bach & Handel (2011) ODEG
  • The Classics: Mozart & More (2011) ODEG
  • Brahms on Brass (2011) ODEG
  • Takes Flight (2012) Steinway & Sons/ODEG
  • Carnaval: Music of Robert Schumann (2013) ODEG
  • Christmas Time Is Here (2013) Steinway & Sons/ODEG
  • Great Wall of China (2014) ODEG
  • Perfect Landing (2015) ODEG
  • All You Need Is Brass (2016) Sony Music

DVD/VHS/Laser DiscEdit

  • Canadian Brass Live (1986)
  • The Canadian Brass Masterclass (1989)
  • The Canadian Brass Spectacular (1989)
  • On Stage at Wolftrap (1990)
  • Home Movies - Canadian Brass - An Innovative portrait ( 1991)
  • Strings, Winds, and All That Brass (1992)
  • The Canadian Brass Live in Germany (1994)
  • Christmas Experiment (1998)
  • A Christmas Gloria (1999)
  • Bootleg Canadian Brass — Authorized Version (2002)
  • Three Nights with Canadian Brass (2003)
  • "Live from LPR New York" (2012)

Music videosEdit

  • Amazing Grace (1991) [1]
  • Canon (1991) [2]
  • Kamen: Quintet (2010) [3]
  • Scheidt: Echo (2010) [4]
  • Brahms: Chorale Prelude No. 10 (2011) [5]
  • Flight of the Bumblebee (2012) [6]
  • Bad Romance (2012) [7]
  • Schumann: Papillons from Carnaval, Op. 9 (2013)[8]
  • Schumann: Intermezzo: Paganini from Carnaval, Op. 9 (2013) [9]
  • Amazing Grace (2014) [10]
  • Muy Linda - 360 video (2016) [11]
  • You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (2017) [12]
  • It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2017) [13]
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 - III. Allegro Assai (2018) [14]


  1. ^ "Loudoun County music students inspired by top brass".
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Canadian Brass takes on China - CBC Archives". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  4. ^ "Canadian Brass tubist and founder Charles Daellenbach - "Lifetime Achievement Award".:". Conn-Selmer. 2012-08-29. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  5. ^ Coletti, Chris. "Chris Coletti's official blog". Retrieved 2013-12-20.

External linksEdit