Brent D. Washington, Sr. has music in his soul and business in his brain. A graduate of Francis T. Nicholls High School, Washington continued his high school career in the marching and concert bands with a pivotal percussion role in the Southern University Marching Band.
Professionally, Washington took that musical discipline and channeled it into a successful accounting business for more than 30 years in New Orleans. Currently Chief Financial Office at Edgar P. Harney Charter School, Washington is also owner of his own business, which specializes in accounting, taxation, and special consulting projects.
A member of Zulu for 27 years, Washington has brought his professional knowledge and drive to be involved to the group, serving as Assistant Chairman of Finance, member of the Finance, Technology, Lounge and Carnival Activities Committees, and is currently Chairman of Finance.
Washington’s wife of 30 years, Troye Madison Washington, will join him on the throne as Queen of the Zulu Nation this Carnival season.
Q: What are some things that attracted you to the Zulu organization? It’s all about community. I appreciate the commitment to community. I am big on community work, especially with my work in the school system. Zulu does so many things, for instance Zulu on the Bayou and Toys for Tots. That’s important to me.
Q: What are some of your Carnival traditions, outside of Zulu? Everything about Mardi Gras. The whole nine yards. The excitement, the parades. I am all the way in. Other than Zulu naturally, I enjoy Bacchus and Endymion. I used to march in those when I was with the band in high school. I also enjoy Orpheus and Pegasus.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about being King this year? I appreciate the confidence of Zulu in me to represent the group this year [as Zulu]. I want to use my time as a platform to impact the community, especially with children. I am scheduled to visit 25 schools. I want to show kids that I am a product of the community. This is where you can go with hard work.
Q: Music seems to have been a big part of your life. What does music and playing in a band mean to you? Music is my out. It helps me relax and let go. I started playing music in the third grade. It allowed me to get a scholarship. My parents worked hard and provided for us, but we didn’t have a lot of money, so music allowed me the opportunity to get a scholarship and continue my education. I play the drums, the snare drum and percussion. I love percussion. It’s the heartbeat
Q: What do you love about New Orleans? The culture. That’s easy. New Orleans is a place where everyone can show each other love. I know we have had some challenges from time to time, but there is no place like New Orleans. I’ve traveled and there is no place like it. I learned that especially during Katrina. We were displaced to Atlanta and I learned that people just aren’t as open. New Orleans is different.
At a Glance
Age: 58 Profession: CFO Edgar P. Harney Charter School, Accounting Resides: New Orleans Born/raised: I was born in Connecticut, but moved to New Orleans when I was four Education: Southern University Favorite Book: Accounting books are all I have time to read! Favorite Movie: Coming to America Favorite TV show: I don’t really watch t.v. Favorite Food: Barbecue Favorite restaurant: Houstons Favorite King Cake: Strawberry