CONGO SQUARE NEW WORLD RHYTHMS FESTIVAL
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation celebrates the music and culture of the African diaspora at the seventh annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival, March 22-23, in Armstrong Park.
This free event celebrates the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the melting pot of traditions that gave rise to our unique music. We feature the music and dance of Africa, the Caribbean, the American Gulf South and beyond in this two-day, family-friendly festival.
Scheduled to perform in 2014 are the legendary Haitian band Boukman Eksperyans and the New York-based "bhangra funk" band Red Baraat.
Showcasing traditional music of Africa will be the mezmerizing singer/ngoni player Kokanko Sata from Mali. A homegrown electric kora band, Buku Broux, will show how traditional sounds can be updated with an infusion of New Orleans funk and soul.
Our Caribbean connection comes this year with performances by the Cuban group Los Caballeros del Son and the New Orleans reggae band Zion Trinity.
The globe-trotting multi-ethnic group NationBeat makes a tour stop in New Orleans to perform at our festival - in a special collaboration with the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian group Cha Wa.
We'll explore traditional and modern African dance with performances by the troupes Kumbuka, N'Fungola Sibo, Tekrema, Culu and N'Kafu.
As a special treat, we will present the world-renowned, New York-based Bombazo Dance Co.
We'll also host our annual "battle" of Mardi Gras Indian tribes, and we'll open each day with drum circles that are open for all to join.
Finally, we'll dig in to the rhythmic sounds of New Orleans hip hop with special performances by the world-famous DJ and producer Mannie Fresh, Warner Bros. recording artist Curren$y, RCA recording artist Dee-1 and fast-rising New Orleans rapper 3D Na'Tee.
As always, we'll host a large Arts Market with dozens of vendors featuring locally-produced, hand-made art and crafts in a variety of media. And we'll have great food from several local vendors showcasing the food of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and New Orleans.
The festival takes place in conjunction with the third annual Class Got Brass competition for Louisiana middle and high school brass bands - who will perform on Sunday afternoon in a second-line parade that's also a contest. The winners will get more than $20,000 worth of instruments for their schools' band programs. We'll also have the world-famous Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on hand to donate 50 horns to deserving New Orleans schools.
2014 Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival
Saturday, March 22
11:00 am to 11:40 am Latin Drum Circle – bring your drum and join in
11:40 am to 12:00 pm Bombazo Dance Co.
12:00 pm to 12:45 pm Zion Trinity
12:45 pm to 1:00 pm Culu & N'Kafu Traditional African Dance
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Buku Broux – eclectic electric kora ensemble
2:00 pm to 2:15 pm Tekrema Dance Theater
2:15 pm to 3:15 pm Los Caballeros del Son
3:15 pm to 4:00 pm Kokanko Sata – singer and kora player from Mali
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Boukman Eksperyans from Haiti
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm Battle of the Mardi Gras Indians
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm Red Baraat
Sunday, March 23
11:00 am to 11:40 am African Drum Circle – bring your drum and join in
11:40 am to 12:00 pm Bombazo Dance Co.
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Bamboula 2000
1:00 pm to 1:15 pm N'Fungola Sibo Dance Theater
1:15 pm to 2:15 pm NationBeat plus Cha Wa
2:15 pm to 2:45 pm Kokanko Sata from Mali
2:45 pm to 3:00 pm Kumbuka African Dance Ensemble
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm CLASS GOT BRASS contest of student brass bands
4:15 pm to 5:30 pm DJ Mannie Fresh
plus Class Got Brass awards winners and
Trombone Shorty Horn Give-Away
5:45 pm to 6:15 pm Hot 8 Brass Band
6:15 pm to 6:45 pm 3D Na’Tee
6:45 p.m. to 7:15 pm Dee-1
7:15 pm to 7:45 pm Curren$y
Keep The Festival Safe and Free: No Outside Food, Beverages or Pets
Like all of our events, the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival is completely free and open to the public - part of the community investment made by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. PLEASE: Except for those with small children or dietary restrictions, please do not bring outside food or beverages to the event - no coolers are permitted.
We realize that Armstrong Park is usually open to pets. But for the safety and comfort of our large audience, we ask that you respect your neighbors and leave your companion animals at home. Thank you.
If you would like to support the Foundation and help keep this event free, please make the tax-deductible contribution of your choice here.
On Saturday, March 22, parking will be available in the Basin Street Lot (located at 501 Basin Street, just across from Armstrong Park by the old Winn-Dixie) for $10 per vehicle. On Sunday, March 23, parking will be available in the at the Mahalia Jackson Theater lot at no charge (enter via the Basin Street gates).
Come to Congo Square ready to shop. We've organized an expansive arts market - complete with its own Arts Market Cafe with interesting beverages. For the complete list of vendors, see here.
When you come to the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival, come hungry! We've expanded our food menu this year to include five great vendors, some serving vegetarian and gluten-free options. If you like fried chicken, Jamaican food, shrimp po-boys, soul food and more, you've come to the right place. For the complete menu, see here.
This year, we're adding a Kids Tent so parents can let their children enjoy supervised creative activities while they boogie to the music. Workshop sessions will include making corn collages, butterfly fans, a Congo Square Fest explorer journal and colorful drawings. The Kids tent will be open from noon to 5:00 p.m. both days of the festival and is brought to you by New Orleans educational resource Our Mammys.
Please, no audio or video recording of any performances at the festival.
The great Cuban band Interactivo, which graced our stage in 2012, will be the featured attraction at our official after-party. See Interactivo live onstage at Tipitana's (501 Napoleon Ave.) Saturday, March 22, at 10 p.m. For more info and tickets ($12 in advance, $15 at the door), see here.
The Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival is a presentation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other funds, for year-round programs in the areas of education, economic development and cultural events. For more about the Foundation and what we do, visit us online at www.jazzandheritage.org.
The 2014 Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
The 2014 Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival also is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. The grant is administered through the Arts Council of New Orleans.
Support is also provided by the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Plan your visit today at www.LouisianaTravel.com.
Click the links below to download documents.