BUZZ [ b ʌ z ] n. – 2002; onomat. ◆1 Excitement. ◆2 Sound produced by vibrating the lips regularly around their equilibrium position. [See vibrate] ◆3 Brass quintet consisting of two trumpets, horn, trombone and bass trombone, offering chamber music concerts, young-audience shows, symphonic matinées and albums.


Since 2002, Buzz Brass quintet has been travelling all over the globe to captivate classical music lovers. Whether its concerts consist of brass quintet alone or together with guest musicians, the original artistic propositions it presents leave nobody cold. With over 1,600 appearances to its credit, the ensemble has reached more than 350,000 music lovers throughout North America, Europe and China. The numerous awards and distinctions that Buzz Brass has earned over the years (Opus, ADISQ, and Trille Or) attest to both the quality and the relevance of its musical performances. Thanks to numerous innovative programmes, praiseworthy recordings, a unique repertoire and a vision of classical concerts that reaches out to a wide audience, the group now features among the most reputable brass quintets in Canada. Its appearances abroad (Edinburgh’s 2015 Fringe Festival, Beijing’s 2016 Meet in Beijing Arts Festival, and New York’s 2018 Chamber Music America) enable Canadian musicians’ know-how to shine forth and inspire youths from everywhere to learn music. Its latest productions have had Buzz collaborating with established symphony orchestras such as those of Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Winnipeg and Quebec City as well as with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Sylvain Lapointe
founder / trumpet
Frédéric Gagnon
principal trumpet
Pascal Lafrenière
Jason De Carufel
Sylvain Arseneau
bass trombone


Nominee—OPUS Award 2017
Concert of the Year—Multiple Repertoire | Buzz Beat

Winner—Editor’s Award 2015—Three Weeks Edinburgh newspaper
Ten top picks among the titanic array of productions taking the stage at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe | The History of Music

Winner—”TRILLE OR” Award 2015
Francophone solo artist or group from outside Ontario having most distinguished itself in Ontario (Canada) | L’histoire de la musique

Winner—OPUS Award 2014
Concert of the Year—Multiple Repertoire

Finalist—Young Audiences Music Awards 2012—Jeunesses Musicales Internationales
Production of the Year | The History of Music

Nominee—ADISQ 2010
Album of the Year—Classical—Solo and Small Ensemble | The Planets

Winner—OPUS Award 2007
Production of the Year—Young Audiences | The History of Music

Press review - Overview

“The Scherzo of Ravel’s F major Quartet is jaw droppingly brilliant – a testament to the ensemble’s sensational embouchure – and almost convinces that the music was conceived for brass. […] Warmly recommended.”
Gramophone (prestigious London magazine devoted to classical music)

“An attractive recital with each of four gems in this repertoire being polished to a glittering sparkle. […] All are highly creative re-arrangements; wholly satisfying both structurally and expressively”.

“The sound of Buzz Brass is splendid. The musical environment they create radiates with a bright and golden glow […] memorable melodies such as Satie’s Gymnopédies and Dvorak’s famous American Quartet (originally for strings) find themselves enhanced, almost sharper.”
Ici Musique

A first-class brass quintet, with a likeable flair for humour and for pleasing a crowd without uttering a word.”
Three Weeks Edinburgh newspaper

“Amazing. The instruments go beyond complementing one another, they achieve the extension of one another to ensure the flow of the discourse.”
Montreal’s daily La Presse


Five very serious musicians and an MC with an art for clowning and communication. An absolute must for any music lover.
Fringe Review

“Style and intelligence. Impossible to resist.”
Le Journal de Montréal daily

“The music is skillful and so engagingly played as to be worth recommending to all ages.”
The List

“These five musicians are fearless! The Montreal quintet tackles major works and its rendition gives the impression they have been written for its two trombones, two trumpets and horn.”
Montreal’s Voir cultural weekly

“One of those fun, accessible shows […] and the music, well, the music is the best part of all.”
Herald Scotland

“The result is musically formidable because of the quality of the musicians and the top-level arrangements. It’s impeccable!”

“A lot of very fine playing. Buzz Brass demonstrate their musicianship […and] a capacity to educate and entertain.”
The Scotsman

“An astonishing combination of musical virtuosity and humour.”
Montreal’s daily La Presse

“A pure wonder!”
Le Babillart Quebec cultural e-zine

“There is both skill and imagination here, and in abundance. Brilliant, exciting, yet always controlled playing.”
Fanfare magazine

“Buzz Brass is a blast! Breathtaking!”
Vernon Morning Star newspaper

“Superb, highly recommended!”
Mixtures – The newsletter of the Quebec Federation of Friends of the Organ

“One of this year’s best gems.”
Le Journal de Montréal daily

“A must!”
La Scena Musicale cultural monthly

Comments - Overview

“The magnificent brass quintet Buzz presented an unforgettable evening of musical entertainment last night. Buzz made a real connection to our Sarnia Concert Association audience with their informative and hilarious introductions, and brilliant sensitive playing. The transcription of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 was astonishing. The precisely synchronized double tonguing and rapidly moving scales gave the impression of a huge concert grand piano. In contrast to this, the quintet demonstrated a delicate string-like sound with their beautiful arrangement of Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. Gershwin’s An American in Paris demonstrated a wonderful orchestral sonority. These daring arrangements are the hallmark of a mature ensemble that has found its unique quality of expression. After the concert, which ended with a double standing ovation, Buzz indicated very strongly that they would love to come back to Sarnia soon. We will look forward to their return! They are an outstanding treasure!”
David J. Nichols, Associate Composer, Canadian Music Centre and President and Chair, Program Selection Committee, Sarnia Concert Association

“The show was entertaining, educational and of very high artistic quality. I have taught music for all ages, in all kinds of schools and in several countries over a 33-year career. I have never seen a performance to equal yours!”
Deborah Mehes, Len Wood Middle School, Armstrong, BC


“I just wanted to let you know how fantastic Buzz were last night in Sarnia. They bent over backwards to get here against all the odds with flight cancellations and road closures. They went straight on stage and put on a fantastic performance. They are so personable and played just the sort of program Sarnia likes with chat in between. We heard so many wonderful comments from our patrons and they would be welcomed back any time. You have a great group and I agree with David Nichols when he says they are as good as Canadian Brass.”
Margaret Lovegrove, Sarnia Concert Association Treasurer

I was truly impressed by the quality and the finesse of the production you offer. I work in the cultural domain and I am often invited to attend children’s shows. Never before had I seen nor heard such an attentive and merry audience. Both children and adults equally enjoy attending this show. The pieces played are relevant and the costumes are original while the comic acting is of unbelievable finesse. I feel that this show has the very essence of what a show addressing a young audience must offer: learning by having fun. As to the final part in which you present your instruments, it brings everything to an end in a manner that is very relevant and very accessible to this type of public. I congratulate you wholeheartedly for this masterly performance in the history of Canadian young-audience shows. Bravo!
Yoan Leviel, spectator, Montreal, June 2017

“In 30 years of music teaching, it’s the best show I have ever seen in a school. Your show is of excellent musical and pedagogical quality. What a treat for the ears and eyes. To you I therefore say Bravo! Bravo! and yet again Bravo!”
Carmen Major, Le Prélude school, Orleans, ON

“Our staff thought it was the best school performance they had seen in decades! Kids came home from Hillcrest raving about the performance.”
Hillcrest Elementary, Salmon Arm, BC

“Magnificent show!! Both students and teachers alike spoke about it all week. Some teachers event told me it was the best (school) show they had seen in their entire career!! Bravo!!”
Sophie Clermont, de la Rocade school, St-Dominique, QC

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