John Brothers Piano Co + Luke Brechtelsbauer
Infectious jazz + New Orleans harp
John Brothers Piano Company
Formed by a pair of former Cal Berkeley students who shared a love of early jazz and barroom blues, the band began as humbly and seemingly incongruously as possible, with the pair dragging their battered Wurlitzer spinet around to busk on street corners and in BART stations around San Francisco and the East Bay.
The John Brothers Piano Company have built a devoted fanbase one show at a time, blending timeless classics and original compositions with nearly irrepressible energy, and the lineup has expanded to a quartet of prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalists. While retaining the heart and spirit of a guerilla street band, they’ve performed on stages around the country including the Monterey Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Festival, Blue Note Hawaii, the McKittrick Hotel NYC, the Belasco in Los Angeles, the Warfield, Bimbo’s 365 Club and the Edwardian Ball in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and they’ve released a pair of albums including their 2017 session, Fastball!. Asked to describe their sound and approach by The Bay Bridged, the band responded, “This group is a punk band with jazz instruments and classical inclinations.”
Harpist Luke Brechtelsbauer takes the harp to unusual places. Whether channelling Thelonious Monk or Django Reinhardt or Elvis Presley, Luke makes the harp rhythmic, coarse and fun. He has played the harp in a tall ship rock opera in Greece, in New Orleans traditional jazz bands, in the chamber rock ensemble “Herringbone Orchestra”, and in the circus ring and theater stage. For a while in 2004 he made his living playing in BART stations. Luke’s album MANIFESTO was released in 2017.