Tuba Dave

Music Enthusiast

"Tuba Dave" Ernsthausen is the living definition of music enthusiast. "Tuba Dave" loves making music.

Tuba Dave's Brass Festival

Attention live music lovers, Tuba Dave annually hosts Brass Fest.

Brass Festival

Brass Fest with Tuba Dave

Crawfish Boil

Great food and good brass band music. Life is good!

Crawfish boils and festivals

Crawfish boils

Album Release: The road to "Get Your Four Star On!"

Upon graduation from Slippery Rock University, Tuba Dave moved to Chicago with just a car and $400 to his name in the fall of 2003. He worked at a music store to score a much needed practice room. His humble beginnings in Chicago found him joining up with both English brass and polka bands.

Then from a small basement apartment Tuba Dave found inspiration to form his own project. In 2004, based on a recommendation by a friend, Tuba Dave first stepped foot into Chicago's renowned Green Mill and saw Mama Digdown's Brass Band for the first time, sparking the catalyst for Ernsthausen's goal to form a similar group. On top of that, while visiting Donna's Bar and Grill — a since-closed stomping ground for Mama Digdown's in New Orleans — Dave saw a piece of paper which he dug out from inside of a wall, on which there were instructions on how to form a brass band.

Dave recalls one of the big requirements on that list was to keep your brass band working, so although the group can change size depending on the gig and members have come and gone over the years, Tuba Dave continuously books the Four Star Brass Band for any and all types of gigs: brass band events; Chicago rock clubs like the Double Door, Martyrs' and Quencher's; the city's many street festivals; crawfish boils; fund-raisers. Tuba Dave pours his heart into his music at every gig. Word of mouth continues to fuel the grassroots success of the Four Star Brass Band and they're the chosen band of the Chicago chapter of Who Dat Nation, a local fan club of New Orleans Saints fans. "It's about the Fans!", acknowledges Tuba Dave.

Currently, the group is set to release their debut full-length album, "Get Your Four Star On!", recorded last year at Minbal Studios in Chicago by Colin Sipos and mastered by Carl Saff.

Album release: Get Your Four Star On!

Album release: Get Your Four Star On!

Featuring original material as well as covers and reinterpretations of greats like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, the Rebirth Brass Band and more. It's a cavalcade of horn players at the top of their game, delivering joyous blasts that will no doubt have all who hear it getting down! Within the classics they tackle ("Let's Get It On," "Just the Two of Us"), the group lets loose and allows bridges to breathe bit - being able to be unbound by lack of lyrics - giving off a live and improvisational feel, even if their parts are mapped out ahead of time. On their own material, they command the listener's ears with fierce salsa ("Radio") and jovial New Orleans-style stomps of the title track, injecting call-and-response hoots and hollers to get all who hear involved. "Get Your Four Star On!" never lets go from the first note, providing sauced-up vamps and hot horns around every corner.

Aside from "Tuba Dave" on sousaphone, the other musicians on the album include Mike August on snare drum, Joe Goltz on trombone, Evan Jacobson on percussion and trombone, Mike Jones on trumpet, Tim Koelling on alto sax, Steve Levin on trumpet, Roy McGrath on tenor sax and Pete Nocito on bass drum and percussion.