Lecture: The Life and Legacy of Big Chief Tootie Montana


The Tootie Montana statue in Louis Armstrong Park, sculpted by artist Sheleen Jones-Adenle. Photo by Baylee Badawy / the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
Thursday, January 6, 2022 -
4:30pm to 8:00pm

George & Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center

1225 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, LA 70116

Upcoming Shows

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will present a Tom Dent Congo Square Lecture on January 6, 2022, “The Life and Legacy of Big Chief Tootie Montana” at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center at 1225 N. Rampart Street.

Free and open to the public, this lecture is part of an afternoon-long celebration honoring the late Big Chief Tootie Montana, beginning in Louis Armstrong park at the Tootie Montana statue sculpted by artist Sheleen Jones-Adenle.

Full Schedule:

  • 4:30pm - Meet at Tootie Montana statue in Armstrong Park
  • 4:45pm - Wreath laying ceremony at the statue followed by a blessing of the drums to open Carnival Season in the community (anyone is welcome to bring their own drum)
  • Prayer song: Indian Red lead by Darryl Montana
  • 5:30pm - community procession from Armstrong Park to the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart Street
  • 6:00pm - doors open
  • 6:30pm - “The Life and Legacy of Big Chief Tootie Montana” panel begins

Doors will open at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center at 6:00pm, the lecture is from 6:30pm-8:00pm. Tom Dent Lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so please click here to register in advance.

Please note that proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours is currently required for entry. Masks are required for indoor guests at all times. The lecture will be live streamed at jazzandheritage.org/live

The Panelists

  • Big Chief Darryl Montana, Yellow Pocahontas Tribe
  • Big Chief Ray Blazio, founder of the Wild Apache Tribe, former Flagboy with the Yellow Pocahontas.
  • Fred Johnson, co-founder Black Men of Labor SA&PC, former Spyboy with the Yellow Pocahontas.
  • Moderator, Dianne

The panel will discuss their experience and time with Big Chief Allison Tootie Montana as well as the history and traditions that were passed down to them through their involvement with the Black Masking community over the years.

Each panelist comes with over 50 years experience within the black masking community in one form or another, from masking Indian to active second line club membership to mentorship programs and educational outreach.


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