The Dirty Dozen Brass Band with special guest Cha Wa
Friday, February 22, 2019 at 8PM at SOPAC
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Celebrating over 40 years since their founding in 1977, New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band has taken the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including Bebop Jazz, Funk and R&B/Soul.
This unique sound, described by the band as a ‘musical gumbo,’ has allowed the Dirty Dozen to tour across 5 continents and more than 30 countries, record 12 studio albums and collaborate with a range of artists from Modest Mouse to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones. Forty-plus years later, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a world famous music machine whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.
In 1977, The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in New Orleans began showcasing a traditional Crescent City brass band. It was a joining of two proud, but antiquated, traditions at the time: social and pleasure clubs dated back over a century to a time when black southerners could rarely afford life insurance, and the clubs would provide proper funeral arrangements. Brass bands, early predecessors of Jazz as we know it, would often follow the funeral procession playing somber dirges, then once the family of the deceased was out of earshot, burst into jubilant dance tunes as casual onlookers danced in the streets. By the late ’70s, few of either existed. The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club decided to assemble this group as a house band, and over the course of these early gigs, the seven-member ensemble adopted the venue’s name: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
From the funk-laced beats and bass-heavy sousaphone blasts that kick off their album Spyboy to the gritty warmth of singer J’Wan Boudreaux’s voice, New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit, Cha Wa radiates the fiery energy of the best features of the city’s street culture.
Dating back to the late 1800s, the Mardi Gras Indian tradition began when African-American men first marched in Native American dress through the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day. The tradition, which includes a host of songs shared among the various tribes, has been kept alive for over a century and today is as vital as ever. Mardi Gras Indians have influenced the biggest names in New Orleans music: The Meters, Dr. John, the Marsalis family, the Neville Brothers, Trombone Shorty and others. The most prominent Mardi Gras Indian today is Monk Boudreaux and his grandson J’Wan Boudreaux, who is stepping up with Cha Wa to propel their culture forward.