!nsp!re – MarchFourth Marching Band – Fearless Makers of Musical Art


Today is March 4th so I thought this would be appropriate.

Founded in Portland, OR on March 4th, 2003 to play a Fat Tuesday party, MarchFourth (or, as their fans know them, M4) have since evolved to a spectacular touring act. I had the privilege of seeing them when they opened for Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl about 8 years ago. As we got off of the shuttle bus, we heard this loud ruckus coming from down the hill. As it got closer, we saw a mix of musicians, dancers, and acrobats making their way toward the Bowl, marching and dancing through the audience that was arriving to see the show.


Employing a twisted-glam-punk aesthetic, the band is comprised of a percussion corps, a brass section, and electric bass and guitar. They play a wild combination of Louisiana swamp music mixed with African rhythms, Brazilian motifs, and gypsy elements whipped into a frothy music melange that is then filtered through American jazz, funk, and rock. They top it all off with stilt-walking acrobats and dancers.


Their shows are full of infectious energy; real musicians making real art in real time. They have begun to tour more internationally and the response from global audiences has been incredible.


I suppose the thing I like most about them is their fearless approach. They’ve taken a genre (the marching band) not known for radical innovation; and have stirred in all the combined musical influences of its members and come up with something new. As a band, they’re the equivalent of a brilliant mash-up. All of the ideas seem to come from a place of “well, why not?” which makes them somewhat unique in the musical landscape of today. On paper, the band makes no sense; certainly not from a marketable, money-making standpoint. Once you hear one of their CD’s or (especially) see one of the live shows, it all makes PERFECT sense. Why WOULDN’T you want a marching band to be like this?


See videos and photos, learn more, and buy stuff from MarchFourth marching Band HERE.