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Too Many Zooz is an American music group based in New York City, New York, consisting of Leo Pellegrino (baritone saxophone), Matt Doe (trumpet) and David “King of Sludge” Parks (drums).

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Too Many Zooz – Jerusalem Jazz Festival

Pellegrino and Doe met at the Manhattan School of Music where they were attending. Pellegrino and Parks had played together in Drumadics, a local busking band.[1] Teaming up in mid-2013, the trio started busking together that August at various stations in the New York City Subway in their self-defined genre – brass house.[1]

Too Many Zooz – Subway Session

They gained fame when a video of one of their subway performances, recorded by a passer-by at the Union Square station, went viral on YouTube in March 2014.[1] They are known as well for Pellegrino’s characteristic dance moves while playing.

Too Many Zooz – Viral video

With the snowballing trend towards electronic instrumentation in music, it’s easy to forget where it all first started: on street corners with real instruments, playing for tips, that is until you’ve heard Too Many Zooz. Too Many Zooz is a three-piece “BrassHouse” band comprised of Matt Doe, Leo P, and King of Sludge. The group found their voice playing for change on New York’s subway platforms, honing extremely danceable rhythms and melodies.

Too Many Zooz – Subway Session 2

Named one to Billboards’ Top 25 Next Big Sound, thanks in part to a video of one of their frenetic subway performances was posted to Reddit and went viral to the tune of over 2.2 million views, and in a very short time amassed a large fan base. Additional videos have millions of views, and Facebook likes over 420,000.

Too Many Zooz – Old Recording

This is all for good reason, too. Their music is infectious, impossible to stay still listening to. As old-fashioned as their musical approach is, – if one were to call live instrumentation old fashioned – the structure of their songs follows very closely to any hit dance music track, hence their self-prescribed “brass house” genre. The drums provide a rhythmic base, the saxophone a bass line and the trumpet serves as the melody, guiding you to a gradually increasing, precipitous crescendo, where all the instruments come together only “drop” from a dizzying height, clashing together in an explosive climax of sound. Too Many Zooz will definitely force you to reconsider the way you think about jazz music. Don’t just take our word for it, Beyoncé APPROVES!

Too Many Zooz – Jerusalem Jazz Festival March

Since busking musicians don’t rely on a complicated commercial structure, one would think that they have a lot of freedom to innovate. This turns out to be true; a lot of musical revolutions had their roots on the streets instead of the concert stage – maybe more so before radio and vinyl, but in recent generations also. Folk musicians like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan used to pass the hat as did many of the great musicians of San Francisco hippie culture like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

Too Many Zooz – Live on Stage

Street musicians are giving something to the world. It takes a great deal of talent to be able to alter someone’s mood and attitude just by playing a few riffs or singing a few verses. They do nothing more than try to bring something beautiful into our everyday world.

So next time you pass a saxophone player playing a jazz classic, or a guitarist playing a country song, Stop – Take a small break – and just listen to the music. Sometimes simply acknowledging the presence of these performers makes all the difference.

Too Many Zooz – Subway 2017

In most major cities around the world, you will find Street musicians at the corners of major city blocks, subway stations and often open spaces with a lot of crowd. Street performance also known as busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities.

There have been performances in public places for gratuities in every major culture in the world, dating back to history. For most musicians back then, street performance was the most common means of employment before the advent of recording devices and personal electronics. In those ancient times listening to a performer in the street was the only way to hear music. The term busking is attributed to the Romans who introduced it to England during their travels along the Mediterranean coast to Spain, the Atlantic and then up the north of England and the rest of Europe.

Too Many Zooz – Live Orpheum Street

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