This weekend’s eighth annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival will feature chanting, dancing, fantastically costumed Mardi Gras Indians, funky brass bands plus more soulful sights and sounds from Cuba, Africa and New Orleans.
Presented by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation, the free event takes place Saturday and Sunday in Armstrong Park.
This year’s New World Rhythms Festival puts the spotlight on Mardi Gras Indians. Performances include a tribute to Bo Dollis, the late big chief of the Wild Magnolias and a pioneer in fusing Indian chants and rhythm with New Orleans funk and R&B. The lineup also includes the Wild Magnolias, featuring Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Bo Dollis Jr.
Other Mardi Gras Indians performances include Cha Wa; Big Chief Smiley Ricks in his New World Rhythms Festival debut; and the festival’s annual battle of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes. Also, New Orleans hip-hop artist Truth Universal will collaborate with the Guardians of the Flame and Fi Yi Yi.
The festival lineup also features the Hot 8 Brass Band and Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band; Cuban drummer and bandleader Yissy Garcia; African dance troupes Kumbuka, N’Fungola Sibo, Tekrema, Culu and N’Kafu; and New Orleans groups Tank and the Bangas and Bamboula 2000.
2015 CONGO SQUARE NEW WORLD RHYTHMS FESTIVAL
11 a.m.-noon: Latin drum circle
Noon-12:45 p.m.: Moyuba, featuring Michael Skinkus
12:45 p.m.-1 p.m.: Culu and N’Kafu African Dance
1 p.m.-1:40 p.m.: Alexey Marti
1:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m.: Yissy Garcia from Cuba
2:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Tekrema Dance Theater
2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m.: Big Chief Smiley Ricks
3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m.: Battle of the Mardi Gras Indian featuring Fi Yi Yi, the Guardians of the Flame and Truth Universal
4:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Cha Wa
5:30 p.m.-6 p.m.: N’Fungola Sibo Dance Theater
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: The Wild Magnolias, featuring Monk Boudreaux and Bo Dollis Jr.
11 a.m.-noon: African drumming and dance circle
Noon-12:45 p.m.: Bamboula 2000
12:45 p.m.-1 p.m.: Nkiruka Drum and Dance Ensemble
1 p.m.-1:45 p.m.: Africa Brass
2:15 p.m.- 2:45 p.m.: Kumbuka African Dance Ensemble
2:45 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Tank and the Bangas
3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.: Class Got Brass competition
4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m.: Hot 8 Brass Band
5:45 p.m.-6 p.m.: Class Got Brass winners announcement
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Rebirth Brass Band