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National Heroes Day

National Heroes Day 2008 is delighted to welcome back to the Cayman Islands the internationally acclaimed Brass Band of Battle Creek, after its stirring performance at last year’s National Heroes Day.

The 31-member Brass Band of Battle Creek has been described as an ‘All-Star band of the brass and percussion world's elite’, attracting great musicians from around the United States and Europe. Though rooted in the British brass band tradition, characterized by larger ensembles of strictly brass and percussion, the BBBC also weaves in American elements such as jazz improvisation, pops and swing, resulting in a hybrid style that makes the BBBC truly unique among brass bands.

Created in 1989 by Brothers Jim and Bill Gray, podiatrists and amateur brass players from Battle Creek, MI, the BBBC has grown to cult status in Battle Creek, where BBBC concerts are regularly sold out and waiting lists are created weeks in advance. Trumpet legend Doc Severinsen, who has twice appeared with the band, says of the BBBC,"This band represents the beginnings of a new music movement in America. It's one of the most accomplished groups I've ever worked with in my entire career."

BBBC members come from American and European orchestras, colleges and universities, and U.S. service bands based in Washington, D.C. Most have impressive international solo careers. The band's rotating roster includes some of the finest musicians in the world such as Jens Lindemann , former member of the Canadian Brass and faculty member at UCLA; and Wycliffe Gordon, former trombonist for Wynton Marsalis Septet and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

In addition to its all-star lineup of world-renowned players, the BBBC has performed at several prestigious venues, including England's Royal Albert Hall; the International Trumpet Guild ‘Brassfest’ in Bloomington, IN., the International Trombone Association’s annual world meeting in Champagne, IL., as guest artist on the University of Kentucky’s Artist Series, and at the Interlochen Arts Society Series.

With a mission to bring joy, understanding and inspiration to others through the power of music, the band enjoys generous support from the Expert-In-Residence division of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Foundation grants have helped the band launch a regular summer camp program for brass and percussion students called Camp Avalon.

This year, as a prelude to National Heroes Day 2008, the BBBC is conducting musical workshops for over 200 children in Cayman’s schools and will also be featured at a free public concert hosted by the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture.

Learn more about the Brass Band of Battle Creek at