Bio

Brassy Washington DC-based outfit, Black Masala, is part of the new generation of go-anywhere brass bands. You can hear this sound all over the world now – from New Orleans (Hot 8) to Belgrade (Boban & Marko Markovic), Paris (Fanfarai) to Cotonou (Gangbe Brass Band), and right here on the east coast area as well (Red Baraat & No BS! Brass). A major party alert for this band – Black Masala puts on an amazing, high-energy live show!

In 2015 Black Masala released their second studio album, I Love You Madly as well 3 volumes of remixes featuring DJ's from all around the world.  I Love You Madly was well received and reached #2 on the CMJ World Chart and #4 on Canada's national Earshot radio chart.  

On their second album it is clear that Black Masala are having a lot of fun incorporating various musical influences into their go-anywhere Brass sound.  Ranging from Gypsy punk, Balkan brass and New Orleans funk, to Bhangra and bounce, this is an album for the multicultural music listener.  The heavy horns and danceable rhythms tie “I Love You Madly” together and create an album that can be played for a wide range of audiences.

Whether they are performing live shows or releasing new music, Black Masala push the boundaries between genres and explore new musical frontiers. This unorthodox and highly creative approach is what makes the shows so much fun with a wild and unpredictable vibe for the audience.

Band Members: 

Mike Ounallah - Drums/ Vocals 

Kristen Long - Vocal/ Percussion 

Duff Davis - Guitar 

Brendan Schnabel - Tenor and Soprano Sax 

Kirsten Warfield - Trombone 

Michael DiCiurci - Sousaphone 

Chris Lee (Moogatu) - Guitar 

Jacob Dalager - Trumpet 

Frequent Collaborators: 

Morgan Russell - Tenor Sax 

Patrick Cheng - Bass
  

Quotes

"Black Masala is a first rate band who are among the growing numbers of groups who make fun, energetic world beat mash-ups that show a good deal of imagination." - The Graham Album Review

“If you haven’t seen them yet, DC’s Black Masala is one of the most exciting live acts anywhere in the USA right now. Playing a unique mix of punk rock, Balkan brass, Indian bhangra and New Orleans funk, this horn-driven (trumpet, trombone and sousaphone) septet is a guaranteed party-starter. . . This is a regional band that deserves to go national and international, one of the most exciting projects in our part of the world these days.”  – Bill Lupoletti, WRIR Global A Go-Go

“I am a sucker for music that defies easy description. I am also a sucker for music that gets me moving. On its latest album I Love You Madly, Black Masala hits both of those targets. . . If you're a fan of energetic, uptempo music, this album is definitely for you.”  – Examiner.com

“Black Masala is a D.C. outfit that has found success riding off of its own inventiveness. Experimenting with a flirtatious combination of gypsy punkiness and brass, the band can expertly churn an audience of awkward head-bobbers into a livened stew of aspirant dancers. Their big-band sound seems able to adapt to any venue; readily filling out the cavernous space of the 9:30 while simultaneously fitting to match the intimacy of Tropicalia. For them, no groove is off limits.” – WRGW Music Blog

"Sure, having an album that can stand the test of time is important, but so is exhibiting that piece of work onstage. Black Masala is your gypsy carnival circus of music that knows no limits of genre. You are rocking out, grooving like you would to funk music, yet you feel like you may be at some ska gypsy punk show, and you become overwhelmed with their uncanny stage presence. Their music must be experienced in person to fully understand this band and that is what makes them so much fun. You won’t be served soft underhand pitches of predictable songs and setlist structure. Instead, you’ll probably find a Sousaphone standing next to you in the crowd while Kristen Long reaches deep into your soul with her powerful vocals."  - Live Music Daily 

"D.C.’s rich history of producing great funk and soul while embracing our funkin’ future, which, if Black Masala is any indication, it looks pretty damn good."
-Zeke Leeds - Brightest Young Things