33rd Great American Brass Band Festival kicks off Thursday

Published 10:53 am Saturday, May 27, 2023



The Great American Brass Band Festival starts Thursday, June 1 with a packed schedule of music and events.

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The festival begins its 33rd year with the gallery hop, swing dance, and new monthly event Downtown Downbeat on Thursday.

The gallery hop features local artists of all kinds selling their artwork at individual booths. It will be in downtown Danville from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Entertainment District will be activated, which is when people may take alcoholic drinks they bought from restaurants and walk around designated parts of Main Street.

The Great American Swing Dance will be at the Boyle County Library from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will begin with a free swing dance lesson followed by an hour of music and dancing.

Brass Band Festival Executive Director Michaelle Perros said they are beginning the gallery hop earlier than usual this year to accommodate the new event, Downtown Downbeat. The festival started this ongoing summer music series in April, and it features free concerts the first Thursday of each month.

This month’s Downtown Downbeat features local horn band, PowerPlay. The band plays ’60s and ’70s rock ’n soul hits by bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears, Tower of Power, and Chicago. They will play at Weisiger Park from 7 to 9 p.m.

The festival continues Friday evening with a concert at Shaker Village at 4:30 p.m. and the Bayou and Brass at Weisiger Park at 5:30 p.m. Saturday starts with the Run for the Brass 5K race at 8 a.m. at Millenium Park, followed by a busy schedule of other events and music the rest of the day.

The Main Street Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday starts at Constitution Square Park, travels down Main Street and ends at College Street. After that, music will continue at Centre College. The festival will conclude Sunday at 4 p.m.

Perros, who is in her first year of leading the festival, said they are bringing in different genres of brass music to include more variety, as well as some new performers.

“GABBF 2023 is going to be a fresh take on a well-established festival,” Perros said. “With the goal of honoring tradition while embracing change, we’re making some changes in the selection of bands to include more culture, variety, and explore the full range of brass music. We have some of the brass band festival classics that you know well, but you can expect to hear new bands and new music that you’ve never heard before at the GABBF.”

She continued, “Everything we do still continues to celebrate the horn which is what we’re all about. The buzz is in the air, and everyone is excited and curious to experience this updated lineup.”

There will be free shuttle service on Saturday, June 3 all day to and from different hotels. Buses will depart from Quality Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Red Roof Inn, Super 8 and Comfort Suites. The pickup schedule is available at gabbf.org/2023-festival-info.

The parking garage downtown on Third Street will be available with a shuttle service as well. There will be a handicap parking lot on Centre College’s campus at the corner of Maple Ave and Walnut Street. They will also provide free golf cart shuttles for patrons in need to bring them closer to the stage areas.

The full schedule of events and music is below.


Thursday, June 1

4:30-7 p.m. – Gallery Hop

5:30-7 p.m. – Swing Dance

7-9 p.m. – Downtown Downbeat, presented by Farmers National Bank


Friday, June 2

4:30 p.m. – Concert at Shaker Village (Mercer County)

5:30-10 p.m. – Whitaker Bank’s Bayou and Brass – Weisiger Park (321 W Main St/Courthouse)


Saturday, June 3

8 a.m. – Run for the Brass 5k at Millennium Park

8:30 a.m. – Yoga in the Park at Constitution Square Park

10 a.m. – Music on Main at Weisiger Park ft. The Chicago Brass Band

11 a.m. – Main Street Parade: Begins at Constitution Square Park, travels down Main Street and ends at College Street.

12 p.m. – Main Stage Music Begins, Food Village and Festival Market open at Centre College

1 p.m. – Vintage Baseball Game at Centre College Baseball Field

12 to 3 p.m. – Kids Creation Station at Centre College

4 to 11 p.m. – Great American Picnic on Centre College Lawn


Sunday, June 4

8 a.m. – Bike Ride with the Wheelmen at Danville Bike and Footwear

9:15 a.m. – Community Ecumenical Service at the Festival Main Stage at Centre College

10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Main Stage Music, Food Village and Festival Market open at Centre College


Official Music schedule:


Swing Dance at the Library at 5:30 p.m. – The Walnut Street Ramblers

Downtown Downbeat at Weisiger Park at 7 p.m. – PowerPlay



Shaker Village at 4:30 p.m.: The Walnut Street Ramblers

Bayou and Brass at Weisiger Park:

5:30 p.m. – Circle City Sidewalk Stompers

6:15 – New Breed Brass Band

7:30 – The Cincy Brass

8:45 – Headlined by The Soul Rebels



10:00 a.m. – Music on Main with The Chicago Brass Band

11:00 – The GABBF Parade

12 p.m. – Main Stage at Centre College: The 8th Regiment band

1:00 p.m. – 202nd Army Band

2:00 – 3:45 – All American Alumni Concert Band and the All American Alumni Jazz Band with Wycliffe Gordon

4:00 p.m. – Walnut Street Jam with the New Breed Brass Band

4:45 – Great American Picnic

4:45 – The Big Maracas

5:45 – The Advocate Brass Band

7:00 – Lee Carroll’s Big Music with C the Beat

8:30 – Made U Look

9:45 – 11 p.m. – Headlined by The Soul Rebels



9:15 a.m. – Ecumenical Service with the Salvation Army Corps of Lexington

10:45 – Madison Community Band

12 p.m. – Mariachi De Kentucky

1:15 p.m. – Dave Clark and the Jazz Ministers

2:30 – 4 p.m. – Headlined by Chicago Brass Band