2016 Congo Square Rhythms Festival

Saturday, March 19, 2016 - 12:00am to Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 11:59am
Armstrong Park
701 N. Rampart
New Orleans, LA 70116
Brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, African dance and the music of the Caribbean take center stage at the ninth annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park.

The ninth annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival returns to Armstrong Park March 19-20. This free festival, presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, celebrates the music and culture of the African diaspora.

The Congo Square Rhythms Festival features the music and dance of Africa, the Caribbean, the American Gulf South and beyond in a family-friendly atmosphere. As always, one of the highlights of the fest will be the Mardi Gras Indians. In addition to the annual "battle' of the Indians, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles will also perform. Ivan Neville's Mardi Gras Indian tribute "Injuns Here Dey Come" featuring the Big Chiefs of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, Wild Magnolias, and Golden Eagles will close out the first day of the festival.

The second day of the festival will feature lots of brass bands, including the fifth annual Class Got Brass contest for area middle and high schools where more than $30,000 worth of instruments are up for grabs for the winning schools. New Orleans' only reggae brass band, One Love Brass Band, will also perform, and the day will close out with a performance from the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band.

The Congo Square Rhythms Festival will continue the tradition of honoring the role of the Caribbean and Latin America in the development of New Orleans music by welcoming Jamaica's Overtakers, Cuba's Muevelo! ("Move It!"), Brazil's Casa Samba, and singer Margie Perez with a tribute to the music of Celiz Cruz.

Several of New Orleans' African drumming and dance troupes will perform, and one group is traveling all the way from Ghana-- the Pan African Youth Orchestra, a group of 17 teenage musicians from Ghana will perform Saturday at noon.

As always, a large Arts Market with dozens of vendors featuring locally-produced, hand-made art and crafts in a variety of media will be on hand. Food from several local vendors showcasing the food of Africa, the Caribbean and New Orleans will also be available.

Free parking is available in the Mahalia Jackson Theatre parking lot (enter via Basin Street) throughout the festival. Please be advised that the ongoing streetcar installation construction on Rampart Street will disrupt traffic and parking so plan accordingly.



Saturday, March 19
11a-12p     Drum Circle with Congo Kids
12-12:45p  Pan African Youth Orchestra
12:45-1p    Chakra Dance Theater
1:00-1:45p The Overtakers from Jamaica
1:45-2p      Culu & N'Kafu African Dance Troupes
2-3p           Pirate's Choice
3-3:15p      Tekrema Dance Theater
3:15-4:15p  Muevelo!
4:15-5:15p  Mardi Gras Indian Battle
5:15-6:15p  Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles
6:30-7:30p  Ivan Neville's "Injuns Here Dey Come" featuring Big Chiefs of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, Wild Magnolias and Golden Eagles
Sunday, March 20  

11a-12p     African Drumming & Dance Circle
12-12:45p    One Love Brass Band
12:45-1p       N'Fungola Sibo Dance Theater
1-1:45p         Bamboula 2000
1:45-2p         Kumbuka African Dance Ensemble
2-2:45p         Tonya Boyd-Cannon
2:45-3p         Casa Samba
4:45-5:45p    Tank & the Bangas
5:45-6p         Class Got Brass winners announcement
6-7p              Rebirth Brass Band

Get the 'OZone monthly newsletter
facebook logo
Like us on Facebook
Volunteer at WWOZ
Hear it here!