Front man and Recording Arts grad Scott Darda likes to compare the spirit of Jumbo Brown to a Mardi Gras parade. This six-piece New York band culls together a range of influences including country, jazz, folk, and rockabilly into songs and performances that tap into the spirit and humor of the wild New Orleans festival. It was that same energy that caught the attention of Chevrolet earlier this year, and found the band starring in a promotional video for their new Captiva SUV.
“Chevy was looking for ideas on how to test drive this car, and our drummer Sean Cunningham is an amazing director of film for branded content,” Scott says. “So he pitched to Chevy’s advertising crew the idea of us driving around Europe, where we’re only supposed to take it for a day, but hijack the SUV for a little longer. They loved it.”
Four members of the band were flown over (Scott, Richard Jordan, John Hebert, and Sean Cunningham), given a small budget, camera gear, and the keys to a silver Captiva. The guys then spent nearly two weeks navigating through half a dozen European countries, playing shows at cafes, busking in the streets, and even getting lost a few times in Italy.
“We landed in Spain and drove all the way from Madrid to Munich, Germany, and then all the way back again,” Scott says. “There were a lot of really great moments, but I think what it taught me is that no matter where you are, if you’re with good company you can always feel at home. It was challenging when we were on the road getting lost, but we did it together.”
The underlying music in the spot is the Jumbo Brown’s new unreleased single, and they’re looking forward to more big things as they continue to write, record, and tour their eclectic blend of genres. Future plans include headlining the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, a pair of residencies in New York at the top of the year, and booking studio time to record what Scott describes as “our first radio-ready album.”
“We started two years ago just playing at parties and it’s now finally paying off,” he says. “Because what we do is so rudimentary American, I think everybody can identify with some aspect of it – whether it’s the country vibe or the rockabilly vibe or the heartfelt folk side. Our audiences are great, we’re having a lot of fun, and the ball is really rolling for us.”