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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

The Dirty Dozen Brass | GETTY IMAGES

The Dirty Dozen Brass | GETTY IMAGES

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Updated: October 1, 2013 6:02AM

Unfortunate souls without time to absorb the entirety of the North Coast Music Festival will have opportunity to catch selected acts at smaller venues once the dust settles at Union Park. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s encore set at Bottom Lounge is as close to a sure thing as live entertainment offers.

Credited with revitalizing New Orleans’ brass band sound, DDBB recently celebrated 35 years together. Septuagenarian trumpeter Gregory Davis and baritone sax player Roger Lewis have seen the band’s entire run. Both still play “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Party” and “My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now” like they’re ready to blow into the wee hours.

DDBB is steeped in second line and New Orleans funeral music traditions. 2004’s “Funeral For a Friend” album recast stately Gospel standards including “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” into celebratory send-offs.

Alongside original songs and standards, DDBB have given a New Orleans flavor to popular music ranging from the Rolling Stones’ “It’s All Over Now” to Marvin Gaye’s full “What’s Going On” album (recorded in response to Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of the band’s hometown). Last year’s “Twenty Dozen” album features a version of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music.”

♦ The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, with Van Ghost, 10:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake. $12 (17+over). (312) 666-6775;

Jeff Elbel is a Sun-Times free-lance writer. Email:

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