The 24th annual Great American Brass Band Festival 2013 is going down this weekend (June 7-9) in Danville, Kentucky. It’s the world’s most epic brass band festival. On Friday night from 5:30pm till 10pm is ‘Bayou and Brass’ -Mardi Gras on Main Street in Danville. Main Street closes down, epic brass bands from New Orleans will perform, street performances, local restaurants serving up some of the best New Orleans-style dishes, local craft beer, and Hurricanes. Yup, walk around Danville and get drunk on Hurricanes. As an added bonus, we’re going to be there with a kick ass Kentucky for Kentucky pop-up-shop. As another added bonus, we’ll be there with a new print designed and hand printed by our friends at Cricket Press. Yup, get drunk on Hurricanes and buy a new Cricket Press print. Hell yes.
This new print by Cricket Press is no ordinary print. It’s a celebration of one of Kentucky’s finest music establishments, the United States Narcotic Farm (1930’s-1970’s) located in Lexington, Kentucky.
“From its opening in 1935, the United States Narcotic Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, epitomized this country’s ambivalence about how to treat addiction. On the one hand, it was a humane hospital set on 1,000 acres of farmland where drug addicts could recover from their habits. On the other hand, it was an imposing federal prison built to incarcerate convicted addicts.” – Narcotic Farm Book
You might be asking- what does Lexington’s Narcotic Farm and The Great American Brass Band Festival have in common? Narco Farm was home to some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians and during that time this Narcotic Farm in little ol’ Lexington Kentucky was known as the ‘Mecca Of Jazz’. That kicks ass.
” Before we get to the actual experiments that went on, the scientific research, the Narcotic Farm was known around the country as a Mecca of jazz because narcotics, especially heroin, was so wrapped up in the jazz scene. People – some of the musicians that came through there, Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, Howard McGhee, these people were playing in bands at the Narcotic Farm. JP Olsen.” – NPR
“Yes. Harry Anslinger, who’s the famous, and to many people, notorious, head of narcotic control in the 1940s and ’50s, he remarked once that the best jazz band in the world is in Lexington. And many people that I spoke with who were musicians of that time, the ’40s and the ’50s, tell me that it wasn’t just dozens of great jazz musicians but literally hundreds of great jazz musicians. So, you know, it was a pretty open place in that way.” – NPR
This print by Cricket Press is a tribute to Narco Farm and the jazz musicians that resided there – The Narco Farm Brass Band. We’ll be selling a limited run both online (Thursday) and in Danville at the Brass Band Festival on Friday night. We look forward to seeing everyone at ‘Bayou and Brass’!