New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa radiates the energy of the city’s street culture– and they’re bringing it to Payomet on Sunday, August 20.
“My People” is Cha Wa’s follow up to their last Grammy-nominated album– and it feels like pure joy, a distillation of generations of New Orleans expression.
“Mardi Gras Indian songs are inherently songs about freedom,” the band’s drummer Joe Gelini says. “And that struggle is as relevant today as it’s ever been.” Popmatters describes the band as “a grand gumbo of singing, intoxicating rhythms, and deep funk grooves that are impossible to resist.”
New Orleans culture exists uniquely in time. It treats its musical history with reverence: origins a century old, or more, are always audible in the sounds that define it, from jazz to brass band to Indian music. Yet it constantly welcomes new growth, too– funk and hip-hop and contemporary R&B meld easily with all of its venerated sonic traditions, keeping the city’s singular culture vital, vivid and honest.