About the Group
Formed in 1970 by friends Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts, Canadian Brass has a vast and eclectic repertoire of music. Although they started with a limited musical base, the members of Canadian Brass have arranged and commissioned over 600 original works and various adaptations. The brass quintet plays classical works, marches, Latin, jazz, and big band, as well as popular songs and standards. Transforming the previously overlooked brass quintet, the ensemble plays everything from Gabrieli to Gershwin to Lady Gaga.
Over the years, Canadian Brass has released over 100 albums and toured the globe extensively, bringing brass music to audiences everywhere. Their lively and theatrical performances showcase their mastery over their instruments. The variety of sounds they produce gives them the emotional and aural range of a full orchestra. The simple selection of instruments can trill with remarkable delicacy or reverberate with deep intensity. Known and loved for their light-hearted antics, Canadian Brass performances are anything but static. For instance, the band members have been known to embellish their ballet medley with dance steps and tutus.
The group’s signature look includes formal black suits with white running shoes, accessorizing with gold-plated instruments. The group’s ballet medley inspired their white running shoes. As they prepared their routine, they consulted ballet dancers who advised them about what steps would fit their selected music and recommended jazz ballet shoes. Audiences believed they were wearing sneakers, so the group switched, and eventually decided to wear sneakers for the entire performance, rather than changing for one scene.
Chuck Daellenbach comes from a musical family, and started playing music at a young age. He earned his Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music and planned to teach at the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto, where he met Gene Watts. Together they formed Canadian Brass. When he’s not playing his tuba (which has a carbon fiber horn to keep it lightweight), Daellenbach’s commentary keeps audiences engaged and amused.
Achilles Liarmakopoulos replaced Gene Watts as trombonist in 2011. A native of Greece, he holds a number of degrees from prestigious musical institutions around the world, such as:
- Yale School of Music
- Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia)
- San Francisco Conservatory
- Philippos Nakas Conservatory (Greece)
Achilles occasionally tours with Pink Martini, a multi-genre, small orchestra group based in Portland, Oregon.
Chris Coletti joined Canadian Brass in 2009. He received his master’s degree from the Juilliard School and his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. Coletti has perfect pitch, is a proficient whistler, and has the unique ability to sing an operatic high C. In performance with Canadian Brass, Coletti plays Bb, C, Eb, and piccolo trumpets, as well as cornet and flugelhorn.
Trumpet player Caleb Hudson joined Canadian Brass in April of 2013. He graduated from the Juilliard School in 2012 with a Bachelor and Master of Music degree. Hudson is currently completing his time with The Academy post-grad program from Carnegie Hall. Hudson, an old college friend of Coletti’s, was asked to become a permanent member of Canadian Brass after the two friends got together to play a few duets. The duets turned into an audition and soon after, Hudson met with the rest of the quintet for a rehearsal and performance, cementing his place in the ensemble.
Bernhard Scully, who previously played the French horn with Canadian Brass from 2005 to 2007, returned in 2014. Scully is the professor of horn at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana. He received his bachelor’s degree cum laude at Northwestern University, and his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and has played with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.