NEW ORLEANS- Brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans funk and African dance – they’re all part of the mix at the 10th annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival, presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation March 18-19 in Armstrong Park. Admission is free.
Funk and soul take center stage at the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, which celebrates the African diaspora and the melting pot of traditions that gives New Orleans culture its unique flavor.
The Rebirth Brass Band, Corey Henry & the Tremé Funktet and soulful singer Erica Falls all will perform. We salute the classic sounds of New Orleans with a special segment featuring by trumpeter James Andrews and his Crescent City Allstars joined by guest singers John Boutte and Sharon Martin. And we pay homage to the percussionist Alfred “Uganda” Roberts (best known for his work with Prof. Longhair) in an all-star tribute led by the great Tremé drummer Shannon Powell.
And don’t miss our shout-out to old-school funk, with a set from DJ Soul Sister – who spins rare groove and classic funk from the 1970s and 80s – followed by the New Orleans-based Low End Theory Players doing their take on tracks by the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.
As always, we will showcase African dance with performances by several of the top dance troupes in New Orleans – plus a special guest performance by New York’s Bombazo Dance Co., which thrilled us in 2014 and now makes a much-anticipated return.
We also spotlight the famous Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, with a "battle" featuring three tribes from different parts of the city.
Best of all, we present our sixth annual Class Got Brass competition, a contest for Louisiana middle school and high school brass bands – with more than $40,000 worth of instruments at stake, including a top prize of $10,000. For details on how to enter, see www.classgotbrass.com.
2017 CONGO SQUARE RHYTHMS FESTIVALSCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES
SATURDAY, MARCH 18
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. African Drum Circle
11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cole Williams
12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Chakra Dance Theater
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Zion Trinity
1:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. N'Fungola Sibo Dance Theater
2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. James Andrews and the Crescent City Allstars with with special guests John Boutte and Sharon Martin
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Mardi Gras Indian Battle
4:15 p.m. to 4:45p.m. Bombazo Dance. Co.
4:45p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Erica Falls
5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. DJ Soul Sister
6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Low End Theory Players present a tribute to A Tribe Called Quest
SUNDAY, MARCH 19
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. African Drum Circle
11:45 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bamboula 2000
12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Culu & N'Kafu African Dance Ensembles
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Shannon Powell and Special Guest Allstars tribute to Alfred "Uganda" Roberts
1:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Kumbuka African Dance Co.
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. To Be Continued Brass Band
3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Class Got Brass (School Brass Band Competition) Hosted by LBJ
4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Corey Henry & the Treme Funktet
6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Rebirth Brass Band
New Orleans Soul Food We’ll have five great food vendors – including several recent graduates of our Catapult Fund business accelerator program - offering a mix of classic New Orleans dishes and food from the Caribbean. The Praline Connection, Café Dauphine, Jazz City Café, Cocoa & Cream Catering and Palmer’s Jamaican Cuisine all will be there, as will several dessert providers, with pralines from Tee Eva and bread pudding from The Puddin’ Shop. For the complete list of food vendors and menu items, please see here.
Arts Market If you’re looking for beautiful, hand-made artworks and crafts by local artisans, be sure to check out our arts market. We’ll have more than two dozen vendors, offering fine art, photography, jewelry, clothing and housewares. For the complete list of art market vendors, please see here.
Keep The Festival Safe and Free: No Outside Food, Beverages or PetsLike all of our events, the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival is completely free and open to the public - part of the community investment made by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Donations, however, are gratefully accepted. If you would like to support the Foundation and help keep this event free, please make the tax-deductible contribution of your choice here.
PLEASE: Except for those with small children or dietary restrictions, please do not bring outside food or beverages to the event - no coolers are permitted.
We realize that Armstrong Park is usually open to pets. But for the safety and comfort of our large audience, we ask that you respect your neighbors and leave your companion animals at home. Thank you.
Kids Activities This year, we're ramping up our Kids Area with lots of new activities, games and entertainment for the young ones.
Parking Plenty of parking is available in the Mahalia Jackson Theatre parking lot (enter via Basin Street) thoughout the festival. The cost is $15 per vehicle on Saturday – but parking is free on Sunday
Bike Valet Our friends at Bike Easy, which promoted bicycle ridership in the city, will organize a free bike valet – so you can ride to the festival and stash your wheels easily and safely.
ADA Accessibility For our guests who use wheelchairs, we will have a number of accommodations.
We will have wheelchair drop-off areas on Rampart Street (at the St. Ann Street Gate) and also in the parking lot near the Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts (enter via the Basin Street Gate).
Our wheelchair-accessible toilets will be kept locked for your comfort. To obtain the key or combination for the locks, please visit any of our information booths located at the park entrances, or check with the staff at our official T-Shirt Booth.
All of our food booths will have counter heights of no more than 32 inches. And we will have an area reserved only for wheelchairs near the sound booth in front of the stage.
The Congo Square Rhythms Festival is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more on what we do, please visit www.jazzandheritage.org.