The sousaphone is named after John Philip Sousa, bandmaster and composer of so many marches – including ”The Stars and Stripes Forever” – he was nicknamed “The March King”. He had early versions of the sousaphone made according to his specifications in the late 19th century.

Although he wanted it primarily for its ease of use as a marching band instrument, it also became popular with jazz musicians in the 1920s. The Australian ensemble, The Sousaphonics, naturally includes the instrument, but they also perform on trumpet, trombone, tenor saxophone, flute, drums and percussion. They were here in Hong Kong last week, and they spoke to Ben Pelletier.