Courtesy of Austin Aldrich

When bass player and McCormick second-year Timofei Asinski got a call on April 15 from good friend and Bienen second-year Jack Pasacreta, he did not hesitate to answer. Pasacreta’s ask threw Asinski for a loop.

“I said, ‘Hey Tim, is there any way you could have a band ready for me by Friday?’ knowing that Tim is a big band guy,” Pasacreta said.

Asinski agreed and began to reach out. Despite not being a music major, Asinski’s web of musical connections stretches far into the confines of Bienen, allowing him to throw together a quick collective: Dirty Work.

The collective gathered for the Unity Fashion Show’s House Party Fundraiser on April 19, with 6 members, featuring a bassist (Asinski), two guitarists, a drummer, a trumpeter, a saxophonist and a vocalist. Pasacreta’s role as the second guitarist was a “special feature” according to him, as his amateur guitar skills only surfaced because he gave the gig to the new collective.

“This band is simply a bunch of people in the network of musicians I already knew. You play enough and you just kind of know people,” Asinski said. “It’s totally a scene.”

Among the bunch was second-year trumpeter Jun Byun, second-year tenor saxophonist Oliver Koenig and first-year drummer Calvin Simmers, all part of Bienen’s Jazz program.

Courtesy of Austin Aldrich

Koenig highlighted the multifaceted nature of the band network at Northwestern, showcasing the versatility of what it means to rapidly collaborate for the love of music.

“Tim is a really good friend of mine, so he called [Byun and I] and was like, ‘you know what to do,’ and we formed on the spot,” Koenig said.

This isn’t the first time Koenig and Byun have been called in as a dynamic horn duo. They have been brought into multiple other bands on campus for a quick appearance, including the band Muse, etc./Musicology, serving as the horn section for lead bassist Asinski.

The fluidity of campus musicians is constant within the scene, with Asinski also calling in alumna vocalist Jenna Kopp from the campus band Office Hours for the April 19 performance as a trade-off for Asinski’s previous features as a bass substitute for Office Hours.

With the final addition of computer science and economics third-year Thomas Silberburg, affectionately referred to as “Brazilian Tom,” Dirty Work was live.

The name represents the quick nature and odd collectivity of the group, originating from the use of a random name generator and the group’s passion for timeless music.

“We started looking at adages and sayings, and then Dirty Work simply appeared. I’m also a big Steely Dan fan, so we were looking through their songs and it just worked,” Asinski said.

For Asinski, Dirty Work’s future goal is to emulate musical greats, combining classic party songs with the expansion of the band at large to connect Bienen students and music lovers alike.

“I think the next iteration of the band will be a whole Steely Dan thing, with three female background vocalists, a trombone player, dedicated key[board] player and maybe a cello or something,” Asinski said.

The joy of playing goes past their love of music. For Dirty Work at large, it’s much more about the experience for the musicians and listeners in a collective space.

“There’s kind of an indescribable feeling to just be able to play your instrument for a room and for it to make people feel good and have a good time,” said tenor saxophonist Koenig.

Editor's Note, May 31, 2024 at 4:08 PM: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Timofei Asinski's last name as "Asinki," and incorrectly stated Jack Pasacreta was a first-year Bienen student. He is a second-year student. North by Northwestern regrets the error.