New World Rhythms Hit Congo Square


It’s often said that all American music comes from Congo Square and this weekend, a lot of it is coming back. On Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the Congo Square New World Rhythms festival at Armstrong Park, with brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, the multicultural buzz band Red Baraat and more—plus a drum jam that promises to tear the roof off, even though it’s outdoors.

Now in its seventh year, the event is everything a Congo Square festival should be: Diverse, funky and free. It kicks off 11am Saturday with an African drum circle; later that day comes a Mardi Gras Indian “battle” between the 9th ward’s Red Hawk Hunters, Downtown’s Hard Head Hunters, and Uptown’s Geronimo Hunters. Wrapping everything up on Sunday will be the Brooklyn-based Red Baraat—who for once won’t have to worry about fitting their entire line-up on a small club stage.

One likely highlight will be a 70th birthday tribute to percussionist  Alfred “Uganda” Roberts, who’s best known for playing with Professor Longhair (If you own one of the many live CD’s from Fess’ later tours, he’s on it). Uganda’s hour-long salute, beginning 1pm on Saturday will be in three parts: He’ll first anchor a septet doing classics from the Longhair repertoire, then they’ll do his arrangements of other Latin and African tunes. Finally he’ll be joined by the all-star drum circle of Cyril Neville, Jonathan Bloom, Alexey Marti, Pedrito Martinez, Michael Skinkus and Stanton Moore.

The festival is FREE of charge, all ages and open to the public.







Saturday, March 23

11:00 am to 12:00 pm      African Drum Circle

12:00 to 12:30 pm              Moyuba

12:45 pm to 1:00 pm          Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm            Tribute to Alfred “Uganda” Roberts

2:00 pm to 2:15 pm            N’Kafu African Dance

2:15 pm to 3:15 pm            Alexey Marti

3:15 pm to 4:00 pm            Mardi Gras Indian Battle

4:00 pm to 5:45 pm            Africa Brass with OTRA

5:45 pm to 6:00 pm            N’Fungola Sibo African Dance

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm            Pedrito Martinez Group


Congo Square Fest 2013 will pay tribute to Alfred "Uganda" Roberts













Sunday, March 24

11:00 am to 12:00 pm         African Dance and Drum Workshop wsg Artist Chuck Davis

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm          The Zion Harmonizers

1:00 pm to 1:15 pm            Third Eye Theater Dance

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm            Bamboula 2000

2:15 pm to 2:30 pm            Tekrema Dance Theater

2:30 pm to 3:00 pm            Kumbuka African Dance Collective

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm            CLASS GOT BRASS battle of the school brass bands – final round!

4:30 pm to 6:00 pm            Stooges Brass Band with special guest 3D Na’Tee

6:00 pm to 6:15 pm            Truth Universal

6:15 pm to 7:45 pm            Red Baraat

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