“…it wasn’t just funny, it was inspired.” – NPR



The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet is an artist-run creative project by bassoonists Brittany Harrington-Smith, Yuki Katayama, Kara LaMoure, and Lauren Yu Ziemba. Their repertoire disregards genre, with favorites from the worlds of classical, pop, jazz, soundtrack, and folk music adapted for the ensemble by its members. Known for their stage antics, the BWBQ use choreography, accessory instruments, props, and skits to add theatrical elements to their performances. The ensemble’s mission is threefold: to navigate the intersection of classical music, pop culture, and comedy, to expand the scope of bassoon performance, and to create meaningful bonds with audiences. Now in their 7th season, the Breaking Winds maintain a dynamic schedule of performances at community venues, festivals, and schools throughout the world.

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Brittany Harrington-Smith

RAISED IN: D-Town Texas, land of BBQ, big hair, and bassoonists. (Kara’s from D-Town too!)

PROFESSIONAL: DJ and indoor cycling instructor at Flywheel Sports, rowing captain and instructor Crowbar Cardio, chair jumper and bassoon player.

ENJOYS: Running up Mt. Fuji, vertical wine tastings, cooking for the BWBQ and company, chatting with people, drinking coffee, and jamming out to EDM.

SECRET SKILLS: Moscow Mule maker, multitasker extraordinaire, straight talking Texan, homemade cheese creator, and Seinfeld specialist.

BUCKET LIST ITEMS: Learn Italian, perform in Bangkok (anyone have a connection?!), get pilot’s license, become a sommelier, beekeep.


Yuki Katayama Breaking WInds Bassoon Quartet

Yuki Katayama

I WAS: Born and raised in Southern California and began my musical training very early in life, kicking and screaming at my mom who enforced practicing piano everyday.

EXPERIENCED IN: WooCommerce, Adobe Suite, working remotely, solving people’s problems. Also, percussive hand clappers and dramatic cymbal rolls.

ENJOYS: Netflix, WordPress, design blogs, swimming, traveling, a home-cooked Japanese meal.

COLLECTOR OF: Succulents, convention swag, magnets from cities The BWBQ have performed in.

SOMEDAY I WANT THE QUARTET TO: tour in every continent (sure, we can do Antarctica!), win a Grammy, be in a movie or provide music for a movie, commission a concerto with orchestra by John Williams, play at the White House, and perform while being suspended above the stage.



Kara LaMoure Breaking WInds Bassoon Quartet

Kara LaMoure

PREVIOUS ADDRESSES: Dallas, Cambridge MA, Rochester NY, Chicago, Wellington NZ, Columbia MO

LOVER OF: words, popcorn, pop culture, eccentricity, orchestral music, international travel

HIDDEN TALENTS: spinning flags, crossword puzzles, speaking Chinese, taking artistic photographs at airport terminals, dancing like nobody’s watching

FAVORITE PODCASTS: Reply All, FiveThirtyEight Politics, Freakonomics Radio, Radiolab, Invisibilia, StartUp

ALTERNATE CAREER PLANS: journalist, elevator music composer, translator, CIA agent


Lauren Yu Ziemba Breaking WInds Bassoon Quartet

Lauren Yu Ziemba

FROM: Buffalo, NY. Also known as: The Best Place on Earth, Home of the Chicken Wings, Canada

ENJOYS: teaching math, taking Brittany’s workout classes, arranging music, taxes (NOT), planning events

PASSPORT STAMPS: China, Japan, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Chile, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, England, Peru, St. Lucia

FORMER: ice skater, softball player, band president

ADDICTED TO: cheese, meat, archaeology, and Game of Thrones



There’s no denying that we play a funny-sounding instrument. In 1798’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s main character “beats his breast” when he hears a bassoon. Frank Zappa famously celebrated the instrument’s “medieval aroma”. And among classical musicians, the most popular nickname for the bassoon is “the farting bedpost”.

Make no beans about it: our ensemble’s name is a nod to the flatulent reputation of our fine instrument. Nothing subtle here, folks. It is eccentric, silly, and decidedly middlebrow—just like the history of the bassoon!


We believe in fun.

We believe in education for all and creativity in all education.

We believe the artistic experience improves when we celebrate all kinds of music as important.

We believe that the friendships we’ve made across geographical, political, and cultural boundaries demonstrate the power of music as an instrument of peace.

We believe that women hold the key to the future. Girls don’t have to bear the burden of the world on their shoulders– they can cut loose from time to time, too!