The early fall is a great time for music in New Orleans. The heat is starting to break a bit and all of the bands are returning home from their summer tours. This month, one of my favorite local acts—Cha Wa—return from a summer of touring to play sets at both NOLA on Tap and […]
For as long as there are occasional ill winds, those who experienced it will remember September 2005, with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Forgotten, but worthy of its own spot in the book of urban turmoil is Hurricane Gustav which happened during that same timeframe a decade ago in 2008. Saturday, August 30 of that […]
A Winning Experience at the New Orleans Fairgrounds The New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course has been a part of the cultural of New Orleans since 1872. As the third oldest continuously operating thoroughbred racetrack in the U.S., it has been the setting for racing history. It is also a well-loved location for social occasions, […]
There are a load of good reasons why New Orleans has hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl so often, but the one reason that keeps coming forward is that we are a convenient town. All that any visitor could want, including one of the greatest stadiums on the planet, is within walking distance. It’s not so […]
I once lunched with Anthony Bourdain at the now-closed Pho Tau Bay restaurant on the West Bank. We each had a beer and a bowl of pho and discussed his latest book and our trips to Vietnam. It was 20 years earlier that I had researched the exotic cuisine setting up shop in eastern New […]
Catalino’s Catalino’s is the first Guatemalan restaurant in New Orleans. In addition to tostadas and tamales, look for dishes influenced by indigenous ingredients and techniques, such as Kak’ik, a spicy turkey soup; Pepián, a chile-rich stew with mirliton, carrots, potatoes, meat and ground pumpkin seeds; and Jocón, a tomatillo-cilantro sauce similar to Mexican salsa verde. […]
Edgar Caro has made a career out of introducing New Orleans to the cuisines of South America and the Caribbean. His first restaurant, the forward-thinking Baru Tapas, brought Caribbean-inspired small plates to Magazine Street alongside its lively cocktail menu. Later he opened the South American steakhouse Brasa Churrasqueria on Metairie Road with his business partner […]
New Orleans Burlesque Festival Sept. 20-23 NewOrleansBurlesqueFest.com Admission: Ticket prices vary depending on individual shows ($20-$62) Location: Various venues including House of Blues and the Civic Theatre Best Bet: The “Belle of the Ball” show is the closing event and highlights dancers from around the world competing for the championship, which is voted on by […]
As New Orleans begins its next 300 years, we look forward to seeing the creative people it will continue to provide a setting for; people such as those in this year’s class of People to Watch. We define a Person to Watch as someone doing something new and interesting. In some cases it might be […]
Wooden pedestrian bridges and breathtaking scenery define the Tammany Trace trail section of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. There are few more effective ways to feel like a kid again than hopping on your bike and heading out for an adventure. Better yet, grab a friend — or three or four — and don’t worry about getting home […]
Five years ago, when Ayesha and Aaron Motwani decided to move, they already had a busy life that included three daughters. Ayesha’s father, who resides in Pakistan, also lived with the family during summers. The Motwanis wanted an Uptown house near the park with at least five bedrooms and a large kitchen overlooking the main […]
“No one had a left hand like him,” trumpeter Steven Bernstein told the Times when Henry Butler died recently, of cancer, at 69. “It was so strong and fast, and he had such control…the tone, the dynamics, the speed. He did all these things that were so fast that no one else could do them. […]
Sally Ann Roberts was on the cover of our 1978 People to Watch issue. Dressed as a fortune teller, the long-time WWL TV morning show anchor was pictured staring into a crystal ball as though to predict that year’s group of watchable people. The annual feature is the magazine’s oldest tradition, though one that has […]
There are many life problems and concerns on which you don’t necessarily want advice. People feel compelled to give you advice, particularly, it seems, on issues relating to pregnancy and child-rearing, but often you don’t actually need or want it. Struggling with infertility? People will tell you to try acupuncture, to track ovulation, and of course to just relax! Pregnant […]
It’s one of those days where everything goes wrong. I am counting. I wake up late (#1) and rush around and grab a stick of Icy Hot and smear it on like deodorant before I realize, so I got to walk to work holding my arms like Koko the gorilla to air out my armpits. […]
I have just returned from a summer road trip which established a new personal record: l was gone from New Orleans for the longest period of time since l first moved here in 1984 — way more than a quarter century ago. It was 31 days. Thirty one days of no politics, no potholes, no […]
According to The New Orleans Item, November 12, 1904, the Ringling Brothers Circus’s “menagerie is the finest in the country. It contains the only rhinoceros with any traveling show; two giraffes, a real baby elephant, a hippopotamus, …and a nursery of baby wild beasts. There are 108 cages in this department of the show.” […]
A new Tulane University study shows that the state’s takeover of the majority of New Orleans public schools after Hurricane Katrina paid off for New Orleans school children. The Education Research Alliance of New Orleans studied the impact of education reform in a nine-year period after Katrina and determined that “public schools saw sustained […]
Cheers went up in New Orleans’ hospitality industry a few months ago when word came that a record number of people had visited the city. Almost 11 million visitors came to town during 2017, according to data released by the University of New Orleans. Though the primary local tourism organizations – the New Orleans Tourism […]
When WWLTV Sports Director Doug Mouton took on his position at the news channel in 2012, he followed in the footsteps of a very exclusive group. Prior to Mouton, the Sports Director position had only been held by two others, Hap Glaudi and Jim Henderson, and recognizing the important responsibility in carrying on those legends’ […]
TAYLOR SWIFT September is a big month for concerts at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Pop goddess Taylor Swift is coming to the Superdome for one night only on September 22 as a part of her Reputation Stadium Tour. MBSuperdome.com. STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE IN CONCERT Part of the wonder of the classic film Star Wars: […]
Dear Julia and Poydras, While walking through City Park, I happened upon an octagonal fountain which an attached plaque indicates was restored and rededicated in honor of Patrick K. Butler in 1994. A second plaque, found at the rear, shows the memorial was created in 1910 in honor of William Frazer Owen, Jr. Do you […]
In 1968, fifty years ago, a group of biologists in boats headed to Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay near Grand Isle. On board were some brown pelican chicks that had been imported from Florida to not only begin a new life in Louisiana but to restore what once was. Though the pelican was Louisiana’s […]
Your guide to the dining, entertainment, lifestyle, culture and people of New Orleans from the trusted editors of New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Home, New Orleans Bride, and St. Charles Avenue.
The early fall is a great time for music in New Orleans. The heat is starting to break a bit and all of the bands are returning home from their summer tours. This month, one of my favorite local acts—Cha Wa—return from a summer of touring to play sets at both NOLA on Tap and the Gretna Heritage Festival. Cha Wa have really led the pack in innovating the sounds of the Mardi Gras Indian traditions while staying true to their original voice.
On their latest release they have brought the brass band sound of second lines into the mix as well. Their sound is analog, harmonic and massive. I spoke with singer J’Wan Boudreaux and band leader Joe Gelini about their recent release Spyboys and the challenges of innovating within such traditional spaces.
I asked them to speak directly toward the merging of cultures, Joe started: “My feeling is that… [our musicians that are very entrenched in the culture, the street culture of New Orleans [as members of] brass bands, secondline musicians and Mardi Gras Indians, it just seemed like a natural extension of our sound to be able to pivot from just the Mardi Gras Indian chants to more of a brass band street instrumentation.”
J’Wan amplified, “We brought both sounds together, and you can hear how it connects in me, like a unique sound, unique and different from others because others are using electric instruments. We can do shows without even much having to plug up anything, and that’s how it is on the streets. When we’re doing second lines we don’t really have electronics. Just hand percussion and brass instruments, and when we’re doing Mardi Gras Indians it’s just drums and hand percussion. So, it’s two cultures that was bound to get together, but no one ever really did it.”
What they have done is produce a sound that stands firmly in both cultures while generating new synergies between the two. This is what the evolution of New Orleans’ music sounds like. I’ll have an extended version of this interview on our website September 22, there is a lot more insight from Joe and J’Wan to come.