New Orleans, LA – Last week, Hot 8 Brass Band founder and band leader Bennie Pete announced that serious illness will prevent him from performing, effective immediately and for the foreseeable future. The Hot 8 Brass Band will not be touring at this time and until further notice.
Pete, a renowned sousaphone player and cultural icon, has struggled with poor health for the past two years. Recently his situation deteriorated, and on the advice of doctors he is taking a break from all professional activities in order to focus on his health.
“The Hot 8 Brass Band has been my life for 20 years,” said Pete, 38. “I’ve played to audiences all over the world. I’ve loved and lost band members I thought of as brothers. But as a new father, I have some new perspectives on the life I was leading – and the lives of a lot of New Orleans musicians. We are in danger every day in these violent streets – everybody knows that. But we put ourselves in danger, too, by disrespecting ourselves with unhealthy lifestyles.”
When his health improves, Pete plans to use his experience as a teaching opportunity, as a mentor to younger musicians.
Lee Arnold, who has worked with Bennie Pete behind the scenes for 9 years, said, “To most fans – myself included – Bennie Pete is the Hot 8 Brass Band. It is a challenging moment for the Hot 8, but everyone agrees that Bennie’s health is the first priority.”
Any updates regarding Bennie Pete’s health and the status of the Hot 8 Brass Band in the future will be posted on the band’s website, www.hot8brassband.com. For inquiries regarding existing booking commitments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.