Friday, June 24, 2011

WWLTV: Mardi Gras Indian Chief Bo Dollis receives major national honor

Mardi Gras Indian Chief Bo Dollis receives major national honor

Credit: J. Nash Porter / NEA

Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- It isn’t very often that a Mardi Gras Indian travels from the streets of Central City to the Library of Congress, but Chief Bo Dollis will do just that in September. That’s when he’ll receive one of the nation’s highest honors for folk arts – a National Heritage Fellowship and $25,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The award, to be announced Friday, is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Dollis is one of nine recipients this year. Another Mardi Gras Indian icon - Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana, who died in 2005 - was honored with the same award in 1987.

Dollis, 67, is leader of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indian tribe. He has masked as an Indian for more than 45 years and become known even more for his musical talents, performing signature songs such as “Handa Wanda” with the Wild Magnolias.

In its citation honoring him, the National Endowment for the Arts praises Dollis for taking “the music and traditions of New Orleans from community gatherings to festivals and concert halls in cities all over the world.”

A native of Central City, Dollis became chief of the Wild Magnolias, named for the neighborhood’s Magnolia St., in 1964. As a young man, he first became exposed to the Indian traditions through the White Eagles tribe and later masked for the first time with the Golden Arrows.

Dollis and the Wild Magnolias performed at the first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and have since performed with New Orleans music greats such as Allen Toussaint, Earl King and Snooks Eaglin.

Dollis and the other NEA honorees will be invited to travel to Washington, D.C. in September for an awards presentation and banquet at the Library of Congress, as well as a concert.

“These artists represent the highest level of artistic mastery and we are proud to recognize their achievements,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman in a news release. “Through their contributions, we have been challenged, enlightened, and charmed, and we thank them for devoting their careers to expanding and supporting their art forms.”

Dollis joins previous Louisiana honorees including the Treme Brass Band, New Orleans jazzman Dr. Michael White and Cajun artists Michael Doucet, Dewey Balfa and “Boozoo” Chavis, as well as the co-founders of the Louisiana favorites, the Hackberry Ramblers: Luderin Darbone and Edwin Duhon.

Nationally-known honorees in the past have included bluesman B.B. King, bluegrass icon Bill Monroe and gospel greats Shirley Caesar and Mavis Staples.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Village Voice: Beyond Jazzfest, Ruffled Feathers in New Orleans

Cultural growing pains in a rebuilt city

By Larry Blumenfeld

Saxophone player Donald Harrison Jr. is in New York.

Near the end of Donald Harrison Jr.’s Congo Square Stage set on the opening Friday of this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, after the saxophonist segued from groove-jazz to bebop to something too rhythmically slippery to name, he walked quietly offstage. Minutes later, announced by tambourines and shrouded by red feathers with black highlights, he was back; only now he was Big Chief of the Congo Nation, enacting a tradition inherited from his father, who, during his life, was Big Chief of four different Mardi Gras Indian tribes. Harrison led his band through “Hey Pocky Way,” a modest 1974 hit for the Meters (and later for the Neville Brothers) with a title adapted from the Indians’ inscrutable language.

The Mardi Gras Indians are the most mysterious and essential of the indigenous cultures that define New Orleans; together with traditional jazz musicians, brass bands, and the Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs who mount Sunday-afternoon second-line parades, they’ve infused all strands of locally bred music since at least Jelly Roll Morton’s day. Beyond that, they’ve helped revive a city nearly left for dead in 2005. When Harrison fronts “A Night in Treme” at Brooklyn’s MetroTech Commons and Manhattan’s Jazz Standard this week, he’ll reference his ongoing roles—in cameo, as the basis for fictional characters, and as a script adviser—in HBO’s Treme, which showcases the primacy and power of New Orleans culture.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Win Tickets to Galactic @ Brooklyn Bowl



featuring Corey Glover (of Living Colour), Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band) and very special guests Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5), Warren Haynes and Steven Bernstein (of Sex Mob)

Tuesday, June 21 – Friday June 24

How do we even begin? Four nights of insanity to say the least–but who wants to cut this unparalleled 4 night stint short, anyway? We’re amped to announce that the one, the only…Galactic are taking over on June 21-24th. This New Orleans-based supergroup is set to play some of your favorite tracks in the genres of jazz, funk, r&b, rock, gospel–and one that the band can take credit for exposing–bounce. Let us repeat the facts. Four nights. Four sets that are guaranteed to blow your mind. Five extremely talented musicians. One band. Two free tickets to any one show. Zero catch.

That’s right… we’re giving way 2 FREE TICKETS to any one of the four shows to one lucky fan. See below for entry details.


Tues, 6/21 (ft. Chali 2na, Corey Glover, Corey Henry) :: Doors at 6 // Show at 8 :: Buy Tix

Wed, 6/22 (ft. Warren Haynes, Corey Glover, Corey Henry, Jamie McLean Band) :: Doors at 6 // Show at 8 :: Buy Tix

Thurs, 6/23 (ft. Corey Glover, Corey Henry) :: Doors at 6 // Show at 8 :: Buy Tix

Fri, 6/24 (ft. Steven Bernstein, Corey Glover, Corey Henry, The High & Mighty Brass Band) :: Doors at 6 // Show at 8 :: Ltd. Tix Available at Doors



How do YOU rep NOLA in NYC? Best answer wins 2 tix to Galactic on 6/21-6/24! #GalacticBB

**** Must include hashtag #GalacticBB ****


How do YOU rep NOLA in NYC? Best answer wins 2 tix to Galactic on 6/21-6/24!