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Is Mucca Pazza a marching or rock band? Find out Sept. 16

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September 5, 2017

Mucca Pazza is a marching band that thinks it’s a rock ‘n’ roll band.

Mucca PazzaThe band from Chicago is appearing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center, College of Saint Benedict, as part of the Fine Arts Series at CSB and Saint John’s University.

Visually, Mucca Pazza may fool you. The 30-some band members wear marching band and cheerleading uniforms that don’t match.

Despite the wacky uniforms, Mucca Pazza seldom marches – at least in the traditional sense of the word. They may move from point A to point B, but Mucca Pazza dances, flails, tumbles and spins in circles.

Amplified by speaker helmets, the freak section wields violins, cellos, accordions and guitars – instruments you normally wouldn’t see in a traditional marching band. The cheerleaders rouse, encourage and confound the audience with asynchronous absurdity.

The music skips from genre to genre, moving from Balkan to brass band groove to noise-rock to avant-garde game show themes. It never settles in one place for long, but is held together by the band’s unmistakable sound and irresistible energy.

The force and presence of a marching band remains, both sonically and theatrically. The brass harmony is rich and powerful, the drums tight and idiosyncratic.

The band, which began in 2004, has produced four full-length CDs: L.Y.A. (2014), Safety Fifth (2012), Plays Well Together (2008) and Mucca Pazza: A Little Marching Band (2006), which is now available only in digital form.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors, $18 for CSB/SJU faculty and staff and $15 for students and youth. For tickets, call the Benedicta Arts Center Box Office at 320-363-5777 or order online.

The event is sponsored in part by Microbiologics and El-Jay Plumbing and Heating.

These activities are made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.