NEW ORLEANS (press release) – When the members of Cha Wa were invited to take over NPR’s remote Tiny Desk, they knew they needed to bring it into the heart of New Orleans’ rich musical heritage to a “hallowed space for Black American music,” as Bob Boilen put it in his introduction: Preservation Hall. It was only fitting, as Cha Wa are the true embodiment of New Orleans street culture; a collective which includes lifelong members of the city’s centuries-old Black Masking traditions – including Joseph Boudreaux of the Mardi Gras Indians and Aurélien Barnes of the The North Side Skull & Bone Gang – along with many of the top musicians from NOLA’s world-renowned Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs and Second Line brass bands. Together, Cha Wa keep these storied legacies in Black American music alive on the national stage with modern influences from New Orleans funk, R&B, hip-hop, rock and soul.
Only five years into their story and already GRAMMY nominees in the Best Regional Roots Album category, Cha Wa returned in April with their new album “My People,” which they performed four songs from at the Tiny Desk. Would love to see what you think of it!