University of Pittsburgh Bradford
DePue Brothers bringing bluegrass, classical, jazz and folk to Bromeley
DePue Bros.
The DePue Brothers Band

The DePue Brothers Band is neither all brothers nor a full-time band. It isn’t really a classical group, a bluegrass group or jazz group. They’re friends and brothers, master musicians of multiple genres who love to jam in front of a crowd, and they’re coming to Pitt-Bradford this week. 

            The DePue Brothers will take the stage of the Bromeley Family Theater in BlaisdellHall at 7:30 p.m. April 18. Tickets are $14 to $18 for the public and $5 for all students.

            Violinists Wallace and Jason DePue, drummer Don Liuzzi, guitarist Mark Cosgrove, bassist Kevin MacConnell and banjo player Mike Munford occasionally drop their day jobs playing with the Philly Pops or the Philadelphia Orchestra, touring or recording solo CDs to tour as the DePue Brothers. The group recorded its first CD, “Weapons of Grass Construction,” in 2010.

            Audiences can expect to hear Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” from “Appalachian Spring Rodeo,” the jazz standard “Sweet Georgia Brown” and J.S. Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” played with a vibraphone, along with bluegrass standards such as the “Orange Blossom Special” and “Little Brown Jug” and original folk-rock inspired songs written by various members of the band.

            “The main thread is that the violins are the feature,” said percussionist and manager Liuzzi. “Wallace and Jason’s ability to play in many genres is what fuels the band.”

            Whileit is challenging for the band to find a niche, the band has found one among those who appreciate great musicianship in any genre. It’s been featured on National Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” and at Philadelphia’s World Café Live.

            The DePues who play with the band are two of four DePue Brothers who grew up in Ohio, where their father was a composer and taught piano, theory and composition at Bowling Green State University. With a mother as a musician also, it was no surprise that oldest brother Wallace had a violin in his hand early on.

As each brother grew old enough to begin playing, he opted not to fill out the parts of a string quartet. Fired by brotherly rivalry, each wanted to be better at the violin than the others.

As they got older, summers were filled with camping trips to fiddle competitions, and they started to make some money with their bows (no doubt there was a cuteness factor with four little brother fiddlers).

“They all got really interested in bluegrass,” Liuzzi said, “and each has a proficiency in both. They are equally great in the bluegrass band and the classical world.”

Rounding out the bluegrass sound are Cosgrove, a national flat-picking champion on the guitar, and Munford, who Liuzzi says is “quietly known in the banjo world as one of the great players. Munford has been on three U.S. State Department tours to Central Asia and most recently toured again throughout Australia and Japan.

Percussionist Liuzzi, who got to know Jason DePue through the Philadelphia Orchestra, for which they both play, adds a folk rock element with his original compositions. Jazz and blues touches are added by bassist MacConnell, who has performed with Mel Torme, Natalie Cole and Dihann Carol.

For more information or tickets, contact the Bromeley Family Theater Box Office at (814)362-5113 or showtix@pitt.edu

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at (814)362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.

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