Martin Krusche • 2431 Bartholomew St • New Orleans, LA 70117 • 347-248-5049
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The Magnetic Ear is a pocket brass band from New Orleans. We are a six piece ensemble with tenor and baritone saxophones two trombones, sousaphone and drums. Our mostly original music is inspired by New Orleans style second line and funk, Eastern European brass band music and African music. We also cover anything that suits our taste for hip, danceable party music. The Magnetic Ear has just recently released its third CD and has been touring the US and Europe.

Locally we play all venues from Tipitina's, dba, Blue Nile to Snug Harbor, Saturn Bar, Bacchanal etc as well as the annual festivals, like Satchmo Fest, French Quarter Fest, Congo Square Rhythm Fest and more.

The Magnetic Ear has been awarded grants by sweet Home New Orleans, the Musicians Clinic and the Midatlantic Arts Foundation and has garnered nominations to the Off Beat Awards as best emerging artist 2007 and best contemporary CD of 2008. The CD release party for our newest production 'Alien of Extraordinary Ability' was broadcast live by New Orleans' own WWOZ radio station on Sept.8th 2010.

Magnetic Ear: French Quarter Fest Focus
March 30, 2011

from Offbeat:

Over the years, brass-driven band the Magnetic Ear has marched so far from its point of origin that it’s a wonder bandleader saxophonist Martin Krusche doesn’t change the group’s name. “At first we were known as sort of a jazz freak-out band,” admits Krusche. But even then, the Magnetic Ear’s music was much more composed and arranged-seeming than the average jazz group. The band followed Krusche’s long, wild melody lines so tightly you could tell they weren’t just improvising...

Check out the whole article here.

Where'Yat Reviews 'Aliens of Extraordinary Ability"
March 14, 2011

Offbeat Reviews 'Aliens of Extraordinary Ability"
September 30, 2010

from Offbeat:

The track listing for Magnetic Ear’s Aliens of Extraordinary Ability is packed tight with guest appearances from throughout the various strata of the New Orleans music scene: from newcomer Sasha Masakowski to Dirty Dozen Brass Band co-founder Roger Lewis. The credits demonstrate the wide-ranging connections that Magnetic Ear’s members have made, and the music they’ve made with so many extraordinarily able performers alien to the core group itself is a testament to the band’s and bandleader Martin Krusche’s ability to bring that eclecticism together into a coherent musical statement.

The core group that makes up Magnetic Ear is a pocket brass band: two saxophones, two trombones, sousaphone and drums. Its style belongs to the brass band tradition from New Orleans and well beyond. Eastern European, Caribbean and African influences are just as prevalent as the second-line funk and traditional New Orleans jazz sounds we might expect to dominate. There are also covers of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” and Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place,” and an original tango tribute to the late Alex Chilton. The result of such a cross-cultural array is a wholly fresh and unique take on the dance-party brass sound that maintains a distinctly New Orleanian character.

The album’s groove is inevitably designed for the New Orleans dance floor, but this is no free-for-all jam session caught on tape. Aliens of Extraordinary Ability is an album for listeners. Its chief strength is its tightly arranged compositions, whose complex harmonies and rhythmic figures bring out the individual performers’ talents. The CD takes its name from a designation that allows people to cross borders; with this effort, Magnetic Ear shows how much the license to travel through styles can bring back to brass band music.

About 'Aliens of Extraordinary Ability'
September 15, 2010

This brand new CD shows the band's evolution towards a groovebased pocket brass band. We didn't organize the songs by style but kept them all mixed up, a concept that has worked well for us when playing live, whether at French Quarter Fest or at Tipitina's or doing a live radio broadcast. Variety is the spice of live and of a good show!

A Few Words About the Songs:
September 14, 2010

'Falu' is a great friend of mine from Senegal. Hanging out with him in Dakar and traveling the country with him has been one of the great joys of my life.

'A New Day' was inspired by the fierce energy by the Ucranian brass band 'Fanfare Kalashnikov'.

'Uncle Roger' is dedicated to Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and he takes the first solo. To open up for the DDBB at Tips was a real thrill!

'Turkey on the Westbank' was written in memory of Thanksgiving 2007.

'Dim Dik Dakar': 'dim dik' means 'back and forth' in Wolof, the Westafrican language spoken in Senegal. The rhythm in this arragement goes back and forth from shuffle (a true American invention) to a full on dembe break, hence the name.

'Alotalip': to sustain this fat sound in the low brass takes a lot of lip!

'In Bloom': Grunge for the whole family!

'Farewell Tango' is dedicated to my friend Alex Chilton. We spent a lot of time in his house listening to music, esp. Baroque music.

'Everything In Its Right Place': its scary but exiting to cover something that blew us away when it came out.

'Funeral for a Lizard': a New Orleans style dirge leading into a Easterneuropean uptempo dance complete with acordion burnout by Patte Farrell.

'Dodge THIS, Ninja!' cause it can be fast and furious!

'Dieseldan': Daniel's engine is running on all cylinders as he's soloing on a 10/4 street beat.

'Maus': the very talented poet Raymond 'Moose' Jackson wrote this while sailing on Lake Pontchartrain in a boat called 'Maus'. His delivery is as impeccable as his choice of words.

'Halloween Blues' is all about coming back home after a long journey.

Choose the CD

Martin Krusche, born in Munich Germany, studied music at the Herman Zilcher Conservatory. He came to New New York in 1993 on a DAAD scholarship and moved to New Orleans in '95 where he recorded with Nicholas Payton, Philip Harper, Michael Ray, Victor Atkins and many others as a sideman and as leader of his own ensembles. He produced four records which won him nominations for best local recording in 2000, best emerging artist 2007 and best contemporary CD 2008.

Michael Watson entered into a family of music lovers and legacies in 1985 in Canton, Ohio. From the time he picked up the trombone in 1994 to the time he went to Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio he has played in four All State Jazz Bands, The Grammy Jazz Ensemble with the top twenty-four high school musicians in the world at the 2003 Grammy Awards Party, and the Tri-C All Star Jazz band at the Tri-C Jazz Festival. In 2006, when his service in the the U.S. Marine Corps brought him to New Orleans, he became actively involved in the city's vibrant live music scene. In addition to his performances with the Marine Corps band at Mardi Gras parades and French Quarter Festival he has had the privilege to play with John Clayton, Jimmy Heath, , Joe Lovano, Dave Matthews, and Bonerama. Currently he is finishing his Jazz Studies degree at the University of New Orleans, after recently completing his active duty service, and performing regularly with The Lagniappe Brass Band, Bill Summers, Irvin Mayfield, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Wes Andersonn, IV “The best way I can express myself is through my horn.  When I play my trombone, it is sneaking a look into my heart”, quoted by Wessell “Quad” Andersonn, IV.   The son of Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson III, Wes grew up in a musical household where jazz was played night and day. “You could compare jamming with my father to a normal father and son playing basketball,” Wes laughs at the memories.  For the past five summers, Wes has spent his time learning and developing in various jazz bands and camps across the nations, as well as Italy, France, and Peru. 

Dan Oestreicher remains preeminent among New Orleans baritone saxophonists. He has worked with such notable artists as Irvin Mayfield, the Subdudes, and Rob Mazurek, among others. Dan has been a full-time member of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave. since 2008.

Jason Jurzak (sousaphone) was raised in a musical household with all forms of music surrounding him. His father, a well-known traditional jazz trombone player, instilled in Jason a love for the early styles of American music. A multi-instrumentalist and composer, Jason has traveled the world playing everything from reggae to ragtime, and his compositions can be heard on PBS, NPR, and radio stations worldwide. In 2007, his love of early jazz brought him to New Orleans where he has quickly become a popular musician in the Frenchman Street music scene and traditional jazz clubs around the city.

Paul Thibodeaux is born in Southeast Louisiana and studied music at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and the University of New Orleans. He is working and recording with Ed Petersen's The Test, The Other Planets, Big Rock Candy Mountain, The Cliff Hines Quintet, The Mark Weliky Trio, Alexis Marceaux Band, The Kirk Nasty, Lisa Lynn, and Sasha Masakowski's Musical Playground. Paul has taught drum/music theory at NOCCA, KIPP, Andy Hemel School of Music, and St. Bernard Middle School.