It’s a “G” Thing: NYC’s “Lucky Chops” is making brass bands cool again

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Trumpet, tuba, drums, trombone and ohhh that saxophone!

You can hear them underground, in the park and at your local bar.

“We all have the same common goal, just creating really good music,” Raphael Buyo said.

They are the brass band of brothers, born and bred in New York City called "Lucky Chops."

“We all play acoustic band instruments, which for over the last few decades haven’t been cool," Josh Holcomb said. "We’re trying to make it cool again."

Okay so they're really brothers, but they have been best friends for 10 years.

“We met at LaGuardia High School in Midtown, Manhattan,” Holcomb remembered. "We were all in band class together and it was Raphael’s idea to put together a little brass band.”

Over the decade, they worked nonstop to refine their sound.

“All different older kinds of music, be it classical or jazz and we translate it to modern day,” Holcomb said. "[We also] play current pop songs, rock songs and our own music.”

Social media has helped lead to their recent worldwide success.

“We’ll be in France on tour for all of July into August,” Holcomb said. “We’ve [also] signed a contract with MTV to be the house band on one of their new talk shows [Girl Code: Live]  starting this summer [August 31]."

But these guys say it's not about the fame or the money, it's about their fans.

“We’re here for them, to make their lives better,” Kevin Congleton said. 

“When we put our heart in the music, which we do on a regular basis, the smiles just come,” Buyo added.

And they want to use their music to give back.

“We can use it as a vehicle to inspire and heal,” Buyo, a registered nurse, said. “Eventually I would like to take us into music therapy.”

No matter where their music takes them, they know where their roots are firmly planted.

“Is there a chance that you will upgrade from this garage to maybe a more cluttered garage?" I jokingly asked them. "It’d be just so hard to leave such a beautiful place," Holcomb laughed. "But we do have a lot of memories here, a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”

But also a heck of a lot of laughter.

"Lucky Chops" perform every Tuesday at URBO Times Square from 7:30-10pm.
You can also see the band every Thursday at Five Mile Stone on the Upper East Side from 9pm-12:30am
They have a big show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on July 17th.
You can also check out their new album coming out next month!


Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi

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