Artist of the day: The Distinguished Men of Brass

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The Distinguished Men of Brass were one of the best acts at this year's inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival. So it was no surprise that the judges for America's Got Talent loved 'em when they played at the Mahaffey Theater earlier this spring, winning a trip to Las Vegas for their spirited performance.

The drumline/marching band came together last year, long after director Desmond Boone and its members were laid off from a funky marching band, the Mystic Sheiks of Morocco, at Busch Gardens. Tonight, their live Las Vegas performance airs on NBC.

"This thing is bigger than the band right now, bigger than me, bigger than anything we’ve ever experienced," said Boone, 60, a onetime member of Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 band who came to Tampa for work at Busch Gardens in the mid-1970s. "To me, we had already won."

For more on the Distinguished Men of Brass and America's Got Talent, click here for Eric Deggans' story (scroll down to the end).

[Last modified: Monday, July 2, 2012 8:31am]

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