Hickory – The City of Hickory’s 2024 Sails Original Music Series will wrap up the spring season with Empire Strikes Brass on Friday, June 28. The free concert begins at 7 p.m. on Union Square in downtown Hickory.

Empire Strikes Brass (ESB) is a dynamic BrassFunkRock band hailing from Asheville, North Carolina. Their music resonates with a powerful message delivered through a captivating and larger-than-life sound. Fueled by a thumping rhythm section that sets the groove, the band’s rich horn arrangements, performed by a robust horn section, add an extra layer of depth to both their original compositions and compelling covers, showcasing the evolution of ESB.

Formed in 2012, Empire Strikes Brass started as a group of friends who loved playing New Orleans-inspired second line and funk tunes infused with elements of rock and jam. Over time, they have transformed into a collective of incredibly talented musicians, singers, songwriters, and producers. The result is a fresh and authentic sound that seamlessly combines their diverse musical influences while staying true to their roots.

The band boasts a remarkable lineup of artists, each bringing their own unique contribution to the table. From the rich vocals, and harmonious saxophone of Grammy Award-winning artist Debrissa McKinney (known for her work with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo) to the masterful keyboard and production skills of Lenny Pettinelli, the thunderous beats of drummer Nik Hope, the solid bass lines of JP Furnas, the melodic guitar riffs of Chris Porter, the soulful trumpet sounds of Alex Bradley, and the sky high notes of Tim Morgan on trumpet, the smooth trombone of Jacob Bruner, the vibrant saxophone of Pauly Juhl, and the versatile keyboard and percussion talents of Sean Donnelly, every member of ESB plays a crucial role in the band’s success.

“A nine-piece, New Orleans-inspired second line BrassFunkRock band with horns and keys and voices galore. Their live shows are legendary. Come see what all the fuss is about!” says Sails Music Coordinator Bob Sinclair.

Started in 2012, the City of Hickory’s Sails Original Music Series showcases well-crafted, live music by bringing original music artists to The Sails on the Square. Original music is defined as music that is written or composed by the artist who performs it.

The Sails Original Music Series offers excellent musical entertainment from national and international touring acts with the help of numerous sponsors. Thanks to presenting sponsor Protection Products, Inc., and supporting sponsors Atriax, Bob Sinclair Music, Larry’s Music & Sound, Pfahlert Creative Labs, Olde Hickory Brewery, and Crowne Plaza for supporting the series.

In addition to the seating available at Union Square, audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. A variety of close-by bars and restaurants offer food and beverages.

ABC permitted businesses within the Hickory Downtown Social District will sell beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages in specially marked cups that may be consumed on Union Square, sidewalks, and other public areas within the designated boundaries of the social district. No outside alcohol may be brought into the social district. To review additional restrictions and a detailed map of the social district’s coverage area, visit www.hickorync.gov/downtown-social-district.

After a break over the summer, the music series will return this fall with concerts every week in September.

For more information about the Sails Original Music Series and upcoming bands, please visit www.HickoryNC.gov/SailsMusic and follow the Sails Original Music Series Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SailsMusic.