Dem Brooklyn Bums, Big Band Swing with a Smile

In 1955, the then Brooklyn Dodgers, who played at Ebbets Field in Flatbush, NY; beat the New York Yankees, winning their first World Series Championship in umpteen years. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to L A, and Ebbets Field became The Ebbets Apartments. These were the Boys of Summer. Now, in the New Millenium we have Dem Brooklyn Bums! Formed in early 1997 by "Broccoli" Rob Cittadino, Dem Brooklyn Bums already boasts a solid reputation. With their second CD - "Step up to the Plate" - debuting on the CMJ Charts at #17; and opening for major acts all over the country such as Royal Crown Revue, Save Ferris, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and even Shaquille O'Neil; Dem Bums are poised to be bigger than U.S. Steel!

Inspired by his early experiences as a bassist in every kind of band from heavy metal to what would be the forerunner of Dem Brooklyn Bums, Captain Sticky Big Band (a spoof on old classics), "Broccoli" Rob discovered he had the vocal talents, music savvy, wacky humor, and boundless energy to start what would become the most original and audience-pleasing band this country's seen in ages! However, this isn't your plain old garden-variety swing. Even though the meticulous jazz chops would tell you otherwise; you don't see your average swing cats playing at 480 BPM, crowd-surfing with their upright bass, or writing tunes such as "Switchblade Mambo", "Wifebeata Boogie", "Slap Ya' Round" and "Boozin' and Crozin' ". But don't call the local authorities just yet; "Broccoli" Rob says, "Hey, this is just a parody. We love mom, apple pie, and the regular Joe who wants to go out with his girl, rip up the dance floor, and have the best time they've had in years!"

Joining in this mad frenzy is Rob's buddy from his teen metal days; Rich "Dusty Chopmeat" Zukor on drums; who's motto is "beef before sleep". Rich recruited Dave "The Carnasie Kid" Levitt from music school to cover trombone duties. From there we have, Timmy "Pimento" Clemente on guitar and backing vocals, Bernhard "Gunter Ginter" Ullrich on tenor and baritone sax, and Paulie "Pierogies" Brandenburg on trumpet. Not just riding the party train; Dem Bums also love to get involved in their community, and have played at several charity events. Currently, they are touring all over the US again, and will be seen at many clubs and festivals throughout the spring and summer of 2000. The main thing to remember, says Rich "Dusty Chopmeat": "It doesn't matter if you can't swing dance, just grab someone and jump!"

Dem Brooklyn Bums have been together for almost four years now. The band started to play out in New York and immediately started to gain attention from music fans. Besides being more than capable musicians, Dem Bums are known for their high-energy show, which has affected the stingiest of audiences. These guys mix musical influences together ranging from Rock, Ska, Swing, Punk, Latin, and many others. The line-up consists of "Broccoli Rob "Cittadino on lead vocals and upright bass, Timmy "Pimento" Clemente on guitar, Rich "Dusty Chopmeat" Zukor on drums, Paulie "Pierogies" Brandenburg on trumpet, Bernhard "Gunter Von Ginter" Ullrich on tenor sax, and Dave "Canarsie Kid" Levitt on trombone. Together, these guys have been across the US numerous times and have three recordings to their credit. They played in front of 60.000 people for the millennium bash in Portland, Oregon as well as appearances at many festivals throughout the rest of the states. While enjoying these great experiences, Dem Bums often thought about recreating the same frenzy overseas in Europe in the new millenium.

The wheels started turning in the summer of that year when the Bums signed a distribution deal for their second recording to be reproduced in Germany and various other European countries. The plan was to cross the Atlantic in the fall of 2000 and unleash their high-energy act on European audiences. The tour turned out to be a great success as the crowds took to these guys from New York and wanted more and more each night. The Bums attracted fans in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Koln, as well as Malmo and Lund, Sweden. Some of the shows were so well attended that the band sold out of CD's on three different occasions. A few of these shows were double bills with the legendary Skatalites. Together with the Bums, these nights turned out to be huge successes.

So what's next? The Bums are working on a new release as well as a live disc and are planning to return to Europe in April 2001. Several of the venues have contacted them for another appearance and it looks like they'll start it up at the beginning of the month. Be sure not to miss these guys and check out their new recordings, which should be available soon.