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The Uptown Horns

The Uptown Horns

The Uptown Horns work is legendary — having performed, toured, and recorded with some of the most highly regarded rock ‘n’ roll, pop, and R&B artists in music industry history. The horn section features Crispin Cioe and Arno Hecht on saxophones, Bob Funk on Trombone, and Larry Etkin on trumpet (who replaced Paul Litteral in the early ’90s.)

Letterman Introducing The Uptown Horns with Joan Jett

“We have the Uptown Horns, which I believe beats a flush any day.”

— David Letterman
(Introduction for Joan Jett performance)

The Uptown Horns Party at Tramps

The Uptown Horns sprang to life in 1980 with a weekly event at Tramps nightclub on E. 15th Street. The event, “The Uptown Horns Party”, ran for two years, and featured many special guest artists as they passed through Gotham (including Solomon Burke, Rufus Thomas, Mitch Ryder, Elvis Costello, Wayne Kramer, Dennis Coffey, David Johansen, Dr. John, Southside Johnny, Clarence Clemmons, Buster Brown, Iggy Pop, Dennis Coffey, and many others). Music industry luminaries like famed songwriter Doc Pomus and producer Jerry Wexler regularly stopped by to enjoy the party, which often lasted past 3am.

The Party Leads to Gigs and Recording Sessions

The Uptown Horns emerged from this period with their first significant gigs and sessions as a section, including an acclaimed live album with Solomon Burke (“Soul Alive”), and tours/recording with the ascendant J. Geils Band (“Freezeframe” tours, “Showtime” LP). 

The Uptown Horns Legend Grows

Crispin Cioe and the Uptown Horns with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
Crispin Cioe with his fellow Uptown Horns and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

The Uptown Horns Tour with the Rolling Stones

The Uptowns Horns went on to tour/record with a wide variety of top-tier artists, including The Rolling Stones (“Steel Wheels”), Peter Wolf (“Sleepless”, “Midnight Souvenirs”, “Fool’s Parade” LPs), James Brown (“Living in America”, “Gravity” LP), Joe Cocker (“Unchain My Heart”), Buster Poindexter (“Hot Hot Hot”, etc.), James Montgomery Band (“From Detroit To The Delta” LP), B-52s (“Love Shack”), Tom Waits (“Rain Dogs”), Bronski Beat (“Age of Consent” LP), Iggy Pop (“Party” LP), The Communards, Cameo (“Word Up”), Joan Jett (“I Hate Myself For Loving You”, etc.), Ohio Players (“Live” lp), Albert Collins (“Cold Snap”, “Iceman” LPs), Robert Plant & The Honeydrippers, Robert Palmer, and more. Today, The Uptown Horns abide, recording and performing live in 2022 with super groups like The Hollywood All-Stars and The American Vinyl All-Star Band (featuring Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter).

The Uptown Horns Revue Album

Steeped in the best American and British soul, R&B and pop music. the horn section wrote, arranged and produced an album. It is titled The Uptown Horns Revue and offers listeners special guests including Keith Richards, Peter Wolf, and the late great Albert Collins.