magic circus marching band chicago

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Chicago brass band and performance art group Environmental Encroachment (EE) uses a mobile band, costumes, and antics to create unique entertainment environments. EE's mission is to create playgrounds for the body and mind through dance, music and art.

EE's marching band is part of a new genre of music; a "HONK Band". HONK! Festivals include 'street-style' bands from around the world that are acoustic, mobile, mostly brass and drum instrumentation, and may have 'second line' entourages.

"Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band is emerging. Acoustic and mobile, borrowing repertoire and inspiration from a diverse set of folk music traditions – New Orleans second line brass bands, European Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Afro Bloc and Frevo traditions, as well as the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival."

EE's music fuses a horn section with marching and melodic percussion. Rhythms include 'world' beats and non-traditional American drumline. EE writes adn performs many original songs, and songs from other HONK bands. Environmental Encroachment also wears costumes, and often works with multi-media performance and artistic collaborators.

Performances include stage shows, parades, weddings, funerals, historical re-enactments, children's shows, holiday theme parties, street busking, second-line processions, festivals, performance workshops, rituals, block parties, media and press conferences, circus sideshows, music for burlesque, birthdays, unvellings, coronations, proms, vaudevillian skits, and synchronized swimming with sousaphones.

Environmental Encroachment's first official 'show' was on New Year's Eve Day, December 31st, 1994, with playground installations and live music interactions below Chicago's 18th Street bridge.

EE now includes alumni and band 'nodes' from around the world, and have a semi-organized network to form 'super transformational bands', able to travel, with a shared musical repetoire, with the time to tour. Tours include performances, workshops, lectures, childrens' shows, and fun events.

Select Festivals:
11e Concours International de Fanfares, Marseille, France
HONK OZ Festival, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
HONK RIO, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
HONK Festival, Somerville, MA
CRASH, Detroit
Pittonkatonk, Pittsburgh, PA
HONK NYC, New York City, NY
HONK Texas, Austin, TX
PRONK festival, Providence RI
Electric Forest
Chicago World Music Festival
Illawarra Folk Festival, Wollongong NSW Australia
Burning Man
Gumbo Ya-Ya Festival
Midwest Skydive Convention
Houston Art Car Parade
Lotus World Music Festival
Chicago Children's Music Festival
Chicago Folk and Roots Festival
Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival
WZRD College Radio Spring Festival
Cleveland Performance Art Festival
Black Sheep Puppet Festival
Rotary Club's Centennial Celebration
Chiditarod Shopping-cart Food Drive and Race
Michigan Peace and Music Festival
MIdwest Ultimate Frisbee Championships
Chicago Peace Festival
Renegade Craft Fair
Taste of Randolph Street
Land of NOD Experiment
Defenestration, San Francisco

Select Parades:
KrampusNacht, Bridgeport, Chicago
Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade
City of Chicago Halloween Parade
Chicago North Halsted Halloween Parade
The Gathering, Chicago
Providence, Rhode Island PRONK Parade
Houston Art Car Parade
March of the Unemployed Historical Re-enactment, Chicago
Reclaim the Streets for Horns, Bikes, and Feet, Cambridge, MA
Pride Parade, Chicago
Billion Bunny March, BRC, NV
Ravenswood Buddhist Temple's Peace and Happiness Parade
HONK festival parades: Austin, Boston, Seattle
, Australia, Brazil
East Village Cavalcade of Pomp, NYC
Second LIne and Memorial Processions

Select Venues:
Queens Museum of Art, NY
New York Children's Museum, NY
Art Institute of Chicago
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Seattle Art Museum, WA
Krannert Museum of Art, Champaign, IL
Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Children's Museum of Art, New York City
Pittsburgh Childrens' Museum
Chicago Cultural Center
Oriental Institute, Chicago

Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion
Sky Church, Seattle Center, WA
Staten Island Ferry NY
The Chicago Theater
Chicago Auditorium Theater
Old Town School of Folk Music
Gallery 37 Storefront Theater
The Congress Theater
Unity Temple by Frank Lloyd Wright
Chicago's Navy Pier

Chicago Motor Speedway, NASCAR
The Orange Show, Houston
The Beer Can House, Houston TX
Harvard Square Oktoberfest, MA
The Glessner House
The Rookery Building
Cabaret Metro

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
Harvard University, Sanders Theater, MA
M.I.T. University, MA

Tufts University, MA
Vassar College, NY
Grinnel College, IA

Northwestern University Chapel
Northeastern University
Staten Island Charter School, NY
Maple Street School, Brooklyn, NY
PS 10 Public School, Brooklyn, NY
Stone Scholastic Academy
Chicago Waldorf School
Saint Alphonsus Academy for the Arts
Suzuki-Orff School of Music, Chicago
Ray Graham Training Center High School
Vaughn Technical Academy
The Nettelhorst School

Clients Have Included:
Acadia, Chicago
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Baum Realty Group
Chicago Cultural Mile Association
Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events
C2E2 - Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
Cellgene Corporation
Dos Equis Most Interesting Man campaign
Deschutes Brewing

Go-Go Squeeze Baby Food
Lost Arts Chicago
Magic Hat Brewing
Nurses Union of The State of California
New Balance
Orbit Media
Polish Consulate of Chicago
Rotary Club International
Stand Up! Chicago

Taste of Randolph Street
The Escape Pod
Whole Foods Markets

PRESS KIT page - EPK video and Press Photos

click here

Environmental Encroachment on Wikipedia

Letters of Recommendation from festival organizers click here
Some nice things said about EE click here
Complete compendium of EE shows. ARCHIVE
General Guidelines for EE Membership click here
Skill and Fire Toy Artist Services for hire:
Spinning poi, hooping, staff, and fire eating
click here
Hoop Lessons and Workshops available in Chicago click here
Historical Re-enactments and Actor-Musicians contact us
HONK NYC musician's travel guide click here
EE Song Compendium click here
Chicago Wedding Band, EE!
Live Music provided for Wedding Events
click here
Live Music provided for Funeral, Procession,
Memorial, and Second Line band events
click here
Requirements recommended for hosting an EE event. click here
Chicago Corporate Entertainment
Live Music for events, launches, trade shows
click here
Vintage EE MySpace Page click here
HOMAGE to Bread and Puppet Theater
Bread and Puppet Theater's 50th Anniversary!, for 2013 celebration.
click here
EE's Puppetry Pages click here
Old school Marching Band pre-2004 click here
An example of a theme we use:
The story of the Piasa Bird.
click here
Sir Norman: The Magic Circus Bus Art Car Page
Painted Razzle Dazzle Camouflage - Memorial Page
click here
North African Nefar Association of North America
click here
Chicago Brass Band for hire. click here
Chicago Mardi Gras Party Band click here
Research on Sacred Geometry, and creating transformational environments, especially for marching band choreography click here



Many people have contributed to this project— special cyber thanks to Dan Merlo, Bret Lortie, SuperBucky, David Marine, Fred Hickler, Mister Petey and Kate Reigle - van West.
Photo credits belong to Alyce Henson, Brilliantly Mad, Dan Merlo, M. Smith, B. Lortie, Heather, Josi, dr. flypaper, MisterPetey, Saverio Truglia, Robin Barcus, Jason Delancey, Darwin Stephens, Joseph Storch, Glitter Guts, HW Worden, Karmic Photography, Michael Canavan, the Utah Highway patrol and Chris Yeager for The Book of HONK. Most of these folks have links for further info on the EE links page.

EE founding member David Christensen died of cancer poisoning in July of 1997. EE will always work with him in mind and spirit. His inspirations and spirit still shine.

Here is a link to a page with more information about Dave. (soon)

Peter Kadyk (Peter Overton) went to another world on April 17, 2001. He was another great contributor to the spirit of this project. He remains an inspiration to all that know and know of him. He raised the bars!

Here is a link to Peter's Web Site,

I will "soon" have a page devoted to Peter's involvement in EE as well.

Environmental Encroachment (EE)
Copyright ©1994-2017
M. Smith, - Chicago IL 60622

environmental encroachment artist marching band
Environmental Encroachment press photo
Photo by WD Worden, altered by Dan Merlo

BOOKING INFO : encroach((at))mindspring((dot))com