2024 Congo Square rhythms festival

March 23-24

It was in Congo Square that enslaved African people gathered on Sunday afternoons to practice their ancestral traditions. Their legacy lives on in our Congo Square Rhythms Festival, a free weekend celebration showcasing the music, food, and dance that made this city known around the world.


When 

The Congo Square Rhythms Festival returns Saturday, March 23- Sunday, March 24, 2024

Where 

Louis Armstrong Park – 701 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, La 70116


tom dent congo square lecture

On Wednesday, March 22nd, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will present a Tom Dent Congo Square Lecture on the legacy of Big Chief Victor Harris, affectionately known as Big Chief of “Fi Yi Yi” Spirit of the Mandingo Warriors. After 48 years of masking, Big Chief Harris has decided to pass the torch to his son, Victor Harris, Jr., marking a significant chapter in the history of the Black Masking Indian Tribe.

Admission is free but registration is encouraged.

live Music schedule 

Two Full Days of Music 10:45am to 7:30pm 

Friday, March 22nd

Festival Kickoff Concert with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street)

$10 – Buy Tickets

Saturday, March 23rd

Congo Square Rhythms Stage

10:45 am to 11:45 am Drum Circle

11:45 am to 12:30 pm Claude Bryant & the Reggae Allstars

12:45 pm to 1:45 pm Alfred Banks – w/ special guest Kaye the Beast

2:00 pm to 3:15 pm Alexey Marti w/ special guest Yusa

3:30 pm to 4:45 pm Max Moran & Neospectric

5:00 pm to 6:15 pm Tribal Gold

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm The Rumble


Brass Band Stage

11:00 am to 12:15 pm Red Hot Brass Band w/ special guest Leslie Cooper

12:30 pm to 1:45 pm Shake Em Up Jazz Band

2:00 pm to 4:15 pm Class Got Brass

4:30 pm to 5:30 pm  Treme Brass Band

5:45 pm to 7:00 pm Rebirth Brass Band

Sunday, March 24th

Congo Square Rhythms Stage

10:45 am to 11:45 am Drum Circle

12:00 pm to 12:20 pm Tekrema Dance Ensemble

12:30 pm to 12:50 pm Kumbuka Dance Ensemble

1:00 pm to 1:20 pm N’Kafu and Culu

1:30 pm to 1:50 pm N’Fungola Sibo

1:55 pm to 2:20 pm Free Spirit Walkers                          

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm Bamboula 2000

3:45 pm to 4:30 pm  Mardi Gras Indian Battle

4:45 pm to 6:15 pm Corey Henry & Treme Funktet


Brass Band Stage

11:00 am to 12:15 pm Sporty’s Brass Band

12:30 pm to 2:00 pm The Bra’s

2:15 pm to 3:30 pm LeTrainiump

3:45 pm to 4:45 pm Free Agents Brass Band

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Hot 8 Brass Band

6:15 pm to 7:30 pm The Original Pinettes Brass Band

No recording. Please, no audio or video recording of any performances at the festival. 

About

The Congo Square Rhythms festival sits on the outskirts of the French Quarter in Tremé, celebrating the neighborhood as a key proving ground in the birthplace of jazz! This year, we’re kicking the weekend off with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles in concert at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. The show will be live-streamed for free on Friday, March 22 at 8pm CT on jazzandheritage.org/live

Free Admission – Donations Accepted 

Admission to the Tremé Creole Gumbo / Congo Square Rhythms Festival is free. But we will have donation boxes set up at most of the park entrances. If you want to help us keep our events free, please support us with the donation of your choice. Thank you. 

Class Got Brass

Class Got Brass presented by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation is a program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to support music education in the schools while promoting the traditional brass band music of New Orleans. We invite middle schools and high schools in Louisiana to create a New Orleans-style brass band of up to 12 members – and then to enter a competition in the form of a “second-line” parade with a who’s who of celebrity judges.  At stake are more than $50,000 worth of instruments and other supplies for the winning schools’ music programs. Class Got Brass takes place in conjunction with Congo Square Rhythms Fest on Saturday, March 23 in Armstrong Park!

Arts Market 

As always, we will feature two Art Markets, with dozens of local artists showcasing beautiful hand-made artworks and crafts.  More than two dozen vendors will be present, offering fine art, photography, jewelry, clothing, and housewares. Artisan list coming soon!

Food Vendors 

If you love dark roux chicken and sausage gumbo, Creole filé gumbo, seafood gumbo, and all sorts of other great stuff – from po-boys to shrimp ’n’ grits – then come hungry.   Vendor list and Full menu coming soon!


Kids Tent

Congo Square Rhythms Festival will also feature a Kid’s Tent where our youngest fest-goers can get creative from 12 pm to 6 pm with free activities! 


Build and Play

The Blocks are Back!  PlayBuild’s over-sized Imagination Playground “Big Blue Blocks” are fun for kids of all ages.  Kids parents, groups of friends, everyone can join the fun, building and playing together.

About Playbuild NolaFounded in 2012 PlayBuild’s mission is to transform urban spaces into dynamic play and learning environments to empower kids to design their futures.  A 501c3 non-profit, we operate from our home base in Central City, providing hands-on creative play activities to aspiring architects and city builders.  Find us online at www.playbuild.org


Making Dreamcatchers

New Orleans local and creative Michele Mazique will guide participants through creating their very own dream catchers!


ADA Accessibility

For guests who use need ADA accommodations, the festival will have a number of options:

There will be wheelchair drop-off areas on Rampart Street (at the St. Ann Street Gate) and also in the parking lot near the Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts (enter via the Basin Street Gate).

Wheelchair-accessible toilets will be kept locked for your comfort. To obtain the combination for the locks, please visit any of our information booths located at the park entrances, or check with the staff at the official Merchandise Booth.

All of the food booths will have counter heights of no more than 32 inches. There will be an area reserved only for wheelchairs near the sound booth in front of the stage.

No Outside Food or Beverages or Pets

Keep The Festival Safe and Free: No Outside Food, Beverages or Pets
Like all of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation 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. Donations, however, are gratefully accepted. If you would like to support the Foundation and help keep this event free, please make the tax-deductible contribution of your choice here.

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.

Although Armstrong Park is usually open to pets, for the safety and comfort of the festival’s large audience, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation asks that guests respect their neighbors and leave companion animals at home (except for service animals, of course).

Like all of our events, the Tremé Creole Gumbo / Congo Square 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. 

COVID-19 safety

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will follow all current safety protocols set by the City of New Orleans which can be found Here. More information to come.

No Recording 

Please: No audio or video recording of our performers. 

Festival Image Gallery

Video capture and livestream of this event is made possible by Jazz & Heritage radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM New Orleans.


Festival Sponsors

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is grateful for the support provided by the sponsors of the Tremé Creole Gumbo and Congo Square Rhythms Festivals including Cathead VodkaUrban South Brewery, Still Austin, Louisiana LotteryWWOZ 90.7 FM New Orleans, Chillzone LLC, WWNO 89.9Louisiana Office of Cultural DevelopmentNational Endowment for the Arts

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is 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.