On Tuesday, February 6, the Krewe du Kanaval will make its Mardi Gras debut. Best of the Beat Awards 2017 nominees Preservation Hall, along with September cover story Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, made the announcement today (January 7).
Taking its name from the Haitian word for “carnival,” Krewe du Kanaval will march through the French Quarter to Congo Square in what is being described as a “joyful bacchanal.” The procession will end with a Ball at One Eyed Jacks.
Krewe du Kanaval is the first krewe to join New Orleans Mardi Gras in five years and is the brain child of Ben and Jeanette Jaffe, who partnered with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne to establish the fledgling organization, which will operate as a fundraiser for humanitarian work in Haiti and New Orleans through two non-profits, the Preservation Hall Foundation and KANPE.
According to Mr. Jaffe, Krewe du Kanaval is years in the making. “For many years my wife, Jeanette and I have wanted to celebrate Mardi Gras in a unique way that reflected our reverence for the spiritual side of this unique holiday,” he says. “We had wanted to do something in Congo Square that was inclusive and representative of modern New Orleans, of post-Katrina culture. Through Win & Regine, we discovered the deep cultural connections between Haiti and New Orleans and Krewe du Kanaval is our way of expressing our the mutual love and respect for these two beautiful cultures.”
Chassagne, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, explains that Krewe du Kanaval is an extension of the work she’s done with her own organization, KANPE. As she tells it, ” I fell in love with New Orleans the same way everybody does…Growing up in a Haitian family in French-speaking Montreal, the Creole culture within New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans) was not lost on me. Preservation Hall has been a family to us and so we invited them to join us in Haiti to see KANPE’s work there. There is such a deep historical, cultural and spiritual link between New Orleans and Haiti… we decided to unite and start a Krewe that would benefit underserved people in both places.”
The Parade will leave Preservation Hall at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, stopping at Congo Square and One Eyed Jacks for block parties. The Rhum and Drums Kanaval Ball will be headlined by Preservation Hall Jazz Band, members of Arcade Fire, and special musical guests from Haiti and beyond.
The Congo Square festival and Ball will feature performances by: Preservation Hall Jazz Band (with members of Arcade Fire), Pierre Kwenders, DJ Cosmo Gonik, DJ Windows98, Paul Beaubrun of Boukman Eksperyans, special musical guests from Haiti (and too many other special guests to name).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about Krewe membership (which will be limited to 150 members and will include luminaries from across the world of music, film and the arts).
A limited number of tickets to the Ball are available here: www.kanaval.org