To a deaf person, they look like a New Orleans dixieland street band. To a blind person, they sound like a rave DJ mashing-up house beats with 60′s folk lyrics. To the police, it’s a busy day on the sidewalk.
The Primate Fiasco uses instruments that are loud without electricity, giving them the opportunity to attack at any moment, in any location, with or without permission. No one is safe, not even an elevator or city bus. If The Primate Fiasco sees a dull moment somewhere, they will pop out of the nearest sewer drain or trash can to lead an irresistible dance party.
On stage, the sound is different. This band has pioneered what is possible with mindbending harmonies of Accordion and sax, funky pockets of a hyperactive Sousaphone player and banjo that thinks it’s a Fender Strat. Add lyrics that grab hold of even the most inattentive audience and beats that channel surf like a remote that’s been sat on. The music is always high energy and extremely imaginative. Most importantly, this is fun. People smile from the first beat to the last smoldering ash of what was previously a dance floor.
Following a Grammy-nominated kids album, several conquered jam and electronica fests and stolen hearts at prestigious folk festivals, the Primate Fiasco audience demographic is as diverse as a New York City street. No one is safe from the Fiasco. You will smile.
Primate Fiasco started as a roaming band at a major amusement park. After spending awhile exclusively performing on sidewalks, they headed indoors to try their luck on stage. That simple move allowed singing, which turned out to be the icing on the proverbial cake. Complicated icing, even, as their singer was a successful folk act in a former incarnation that pre-dated the army of brass. Those who listen to lyrics will often get into hour-long discussions about them. The resulting stage shows have since successfully turned music venues inside out, turned festival stages into circus tents and turned random paths or spots on festival grounds into stages.
Throughout the Northeast and well-beyond (thanks to the power of radio) the Primate Fiasco experiment has evolved into the animated superhero persona that you see today— humorously drawn, but based on a true story— and that you will continue to see circulating throughout the music-loving club and festival community, via the highways, byways, subways… and other ways.
Dave Russo - Banjo / Vocals / Harmonica
Jeff Fennell - Tenor Sax/Clarinet/Corinet
Kevin LaRose - Sousaphone (tuba)
Chris Trevethan - Drums
Drake Descant - Accordion/Piano/Keyboard