Sporty’s Brass Band
The ace trombonist Maurice “Sporty” Craige earned his sobriquet as an athlete while growing up in the Irish Channel before it became the calling card of one of the most sought-after second-line bands in New Orleans.
Craige cut his teeth as a musician and show manager in Stooges Brass Band, a polished unit whose blend of New Orleans brass, contemporary jazz, and hip-hop is equally at home at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo. In 2017, Craige founded Sporty’s Brass Band with fellow trombonist Ersel “Garfield” Bogan. Along with a battery of tubas, trumpets, saxophones, and drums, they’ve become if-you-know-you-know stars whether in the thick of a Crescent City parade or on the steps of New Orleans Jazz Museum.
A member of the Furious Five—part of the Young Men Olympians, the oldest of the social clubs that organize second-line parades—Craige makes music on a bedrock of tradition from which Sporty’s Brass Band confidently takes flight in flurries of polyrhythmic drumming, strutting horns, and raucous unison singing. With a debut album of original compositions on the way, New Orleans’s best-kept secret is about to finally get out.