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KC Soundcheck: Sass-A-Brass

Members of Sass-a-Brass pose in front of washing machines in a laundromat in colorful outfits and makeup, holding instruments.
Tim O'Connor
Sass-a-Brass, formed in 2018, has grown to have over 30 members.

Formed in 2018, Sass-a-Brass is Kansas City's only LGBTQ+ street parade brass band, bringing an "infectious joy" to festivals, Pride events and other festivities. The group will host the second annual "People's Pride" on June 23.

KC Soundcheck is KCUR's spotlight for Kansas City musicians on the rise, as heard on Up To Date. Who should we interview next? Send us a text at 816-601-4777.

Sass-A-Brass, the city's only LGBTQ+ street parade brass band, wants to bring "infectious joy" to the streets of Kansas City. The group, which formed in 2018, now has about 30 rotating members.

The band takes inspiration from Mardi Gras and second-line traditions. They purposefully recruit players at varying levels of experience to encourage diversity and accessibility.

Bandleader Rosie O'Brien co-founded Sass-A-Brass to provide a safe space for underrepresented groups through community-based musical performances.

"In Kansas and Missouri, our states are actively trying to oppress and demonize and criminalize queer and trans people," said Leslie Butsch, a member of the group. "So to go into the streets, be proud and be visible... it's a radical act."

Sass-A-Brass recently performed at the Boulevardia, Lawrence Pride, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Night/Shift event, and at PorchFest. Their upcoming performances include a show on the KC Streetcar and the People's Pride in the West Bottoms.

  • Rosie O'Brien, Sass-A-Brass bandleader
  • Leslie Butsch, Sass-A-Brass band member
  • Blue Noyes, Sass-A-Brass band member
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Aurora Wilson is an Up To Date student intern from UMKC. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Roo News, UMKC’s student publication, where she previously served as its lifestyle and culture editor. Email her at awilson@kcur.org.
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