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School band programs paved way for brass funk group Lucky Chops


New York City-based Lucky Chops found their love of music in school.

"We would get together after school and play different kinds of music than we were playing in our band classes, the jazz band and the orchestra," trombone player Josh Holcomb said. "We would kind of get together and play other songs we liked from other genres and apply them to our wind and jazz instruments. And so that's kind of how we started originally. And that was 12 years ago."

The group, which includes Holcomb, Joshua Gawel (trumpet), Daro Behroozi (saxophone), Charles Sams IV (drums) and Raphael Buyo (Sousapone), perform a brassy funk music.


“Funk is awesome I think that runs in all of our veins to some extent,” Holcomb said. “The horns and the grooves, how could you not love it.”

The group traveled to Alaska for the first time this month for a series of shows and appearances, which included a stop at West (Anchorage) High School.

“We love going to different schools, performing for them, giving little clinics, answering questions whatever it may be,” Holcomb said. “We like to go into these schools and try and inspire kids -- if maybe they don't have the resources or the opportunities to learn about music or learn about instruments in their school -- we want to go and show them what's possible.” 

The quintet was traveling to Chile, and then on to Ohio. 

Hailing originally from the Puget Sound region of Washington State, Danny Preston has lived in Alaska for more than 30 years. His career in radio began in 1991, and since 2004 he has hosted KNBA’s Morning Line program. He is also the station’s music director.