MarchFourth Marching Band (known as M4 to fans) is a sonic party of electric bass, a diverse percussion ensemble and a brassy horn section, and a visual kaleidoscope of costumed dancing beauties, acrobatic stilt walkers, fire arts (venue permitting), hula-hoopers, and many more theatrics. This mobile big band spectacular will be performing in The Ballroom at the Taft Theatre on April 9th!
With a rallying cry of "JOY NOW!" MarchFourth (M4 for short) throws itself and the audience into a swirling volcano of high-energy music and spectacle. What began as a Fat Tuesday party on March 4, 2003 in Portland, Oregon has become one of the nation's best live touring acts. After 2013’s Jam Cruise 11, they were dubbed “poster child for ‘Party of the Year’” by JamBase.com. NPR Music says MarchFourth makes Portland look like “the grooviest place in America.” They bring an energy and style that takes the live concert experience to a new level of fun, turning unsuspecting concert-goers into fans for life and transforming ordinary events into joyous occasions. Thanks to word-of-mouth they are graduating from "best kept secret" to “what everyone’s talking about”. Whether at a family matinee in a small town in Colorado or a sweaty nightclub in New York City or a festival mainstage in Louisiana, MarchFourth wins over audiences of all ages at every occasion, and has consistently been named a “festival favorite.”
Aside from their one-of-a-kind upcycled vintage marching band uniforms, their 5-piece percussion corps and the 7-part brass section, MarchFourth is far from a “marching band” in any traditional sense (though this group of about 20 has been known to parade down Main Street before taking the stage). Their original music is anchored by funky electric bass and has been evolving into a rocking guitar and vocal-driven journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the gypsy camps of eastern Europe to the African jungle by way of Brazil, echoing the deepest grooves of American funk, rock, and jazz. That’s all boiled together and framed in cinematic fashion by high-stepping stilt-acrobatics and dazzling dancers. It’s “the kind of spectacle that deserves the word ‘awesome,’” (says the Atlanta Journal Constitution). This band is real people making music and art in real time—and every show is different.
At the core of the band is its DIY ethic. The band has been writing and arranging all of its own material, designing and fabricating its own costumes and merchandise, developing its own choreography and managing itself from Day One. With the addition of their booking agency (Skyline Music) in 2010, M4 has been touring relentlessly. MarchFourth is akin to a team sport with a roster of more performers than ever share the stage together at once. The band tours with around 20 performers: approximately 8 horns, 5 drummers, bass, guitar, and 5 dancers/stiltwalkers.
With so many members and writers, M4's influences are all over the map, but fans of Sgt Pepper, Duke Ellington, Gogol Bordello, Ozomatli, and Cirque Du Soleil would likely feel at home in the audience. MarchFourth has shared the stage with a wide variety of acts, including Pink Martini, Budos Band, Balkan Beat Box, Trombone Shorty, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Beats Antique, Bassnectar, Antibalas, Melvin Seals and JGB, The Motet, Hot Buttered Rum, and Yard Dogs Road Show. The band has also been climbing the festival roster, with return appearances at Wakarusa, Bumbershoot, Voodoo Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival, High Sierra, Wanderlust, Lotus World Music Festival, Jam Cruise and Strawberry Music Festival, as well as appearances on MTV’s The Real World (Portland), ESPN's Espy Awards (Los Angeles) and WGN-TV (Chicago). MarchFourth inspires dancing... when the audience can tear its eyes from the kaleidoscope of visual energy (and maybe even a crowd-surfing stilter) pouring from the stage. “Part New Orleans brass ensemble, part groove-heavy rock group, and part vaudevillian circus, this group unleashes such a technicolor experience that using the word ‘concert’ to describe their performance falls flat” (5820 Magazine). M4 provides the opportunity to come together in joyous union with a band whose mission is to seize the moment, bring communities together, and leave everyone feeling as if the world is a better place.
*Ticket prices are subject to applicable Ticketmaster service charges.