The Berlin Brothers Christmas Orchestra | Mystery Brewing Public House | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
This is a past event.

The Berlin Brothers Christmas Orchestra 

When: Fri., Dec. 22, 8 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 23, 4 & 8 p.m. 2017
Price: $10

Birthed in New Orleans, Dixieland begat jazz, that singularly American musical form. But a century-plus since its heyday, it has become a style that is mostly consigned to the nostalgic past despite the proliferation of modern brass bands that have updated the genre's basic template. That nostalgic association, along with its brassy timbres and the percolating warmth of the music, is part of the reason why Dixieland feels so right around the holiday season, where thoughts turn to seasonal memories of family, friends, and bygone days.

From its name, the Berlin Brothers Orchestra might give you visions of a Teutonic philharmonic, but it skews closer to the man named Irving, not the city's famed wall. In fact, the orchestra has saluted that great American songwriter, an indication of its sophisticated level of discernment as well as its versatility. The group has made a tradition of playing a Christmas concert at Hillsborough's Mystery Brewing, a convivial venue whose frequent music events speak to the owners' deep passion for traditional sounds. And while the Berlin Brothers Orchestra is very much in that category, it gives a new twist to the Dixieland setup with its lushness.

Along with a full brass band and a full complement of guitar, standup bass, vibraphone, and more, this year's iteration features the Irvettes, a ten-person vocal group. Participants this year also include an array of beloved Triangle-area ensembles from past and present, from Squirrel Nut Zippers to Boom Unit Brass Band and Tres Chicas. The full sound adds layers of subtly visceral detail to swinging renditions of favorites like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and oddities like Shirley Temple's "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." And just because the vibe is relaxed and retro doesn't mean they won't toss in a little Run-DMC, just to keep things lively. —David Klein



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