NOLA: Goin' Home | 09.29 & 09.30

Words & Images by: Dino Perrucci

Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino :: 09.29.07 :: Tipitina's :: New Orleans, LA
Congo Square Rhythms Festival :: 09.30.07 :: Congo Square :: New Orleans, LA

On September 29 and 30, New Orleans remembered two key elements of its rich musical history.

Henry Butler :: 09.29 :: New Orleans, LA
On Saturday the 29, Tipitina's hosted a CD release party for Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino. As previously reported on JamBase, the double CD set was released on September 25 to rave reviews. The party at Tipitina's opened with a performance by Walter 'Wolfman' Washington and the Roadmasters. New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas joined them for a few songs including "I Just Can't Get New Orleans Off My Mind" from the tribute album. For the next few sets a baby grand piano was placed center stage. First up, David Egan (piano) and Warren Storm (drums, vocals) from Lil' Band O' Gold performed a short set. Next up, Henry Butler gave a brilliant solo piano set, followed by more of the same from Jon Cleary. The final and longest set by far was reserved for Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk with a parade of New Orleans' finest taking guest turns during their set including Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Jon Cleary (on guitar!), Big Sam Williams and Poppa Funk himself, Art Neville.

While Fats Domino did not perform he did make a brief appearance that night, basking in all the love that was sent his way. Fats Domino is unquestionably one of the greatest living musical treasures of New Orleans. Thanks to the efforts of the Tipitina's Foundation and their new Tribute CD, Mr. Domino's songs are being heard by a whole new generation of music lovers. To quote Lenny Kravitz from the album notes, "We love you Fats Domino!"

Dumpstaphunk with Jon Cleary
Jon Cleary
Henry Butler
David Egan
Fats Domino with Zigaboo Modeliste & Wife Kathy
Art Neville
Tony Hall - Dumpstaphunk
Irma Thomas
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
Walter 'Wolfman' Washington

Continue reading for coverage of the Congo Square Rhythms Festival...

Congo Square Rhythms Festival

Tribe 101 :: 09.30.07
Congo Square :: New Orleans, LA
September 30 saw the first annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation Inc. To fully understand the magnitude of this event you need to have an understanding of the history of Congo Square. Congo Square is located in Armstrong Park off of Rampart Street in the Treme. Congo Square was the only place in this country that African slaves were allowed to gather and play drums on Sunday. These African drums and rhythms that once mixed with European brass instruments are credited with the birth of jazz and most modern music. As a music lover, do yourself a favor and learn more about the rich history of Congo Square.

The day started with a service at St. Augustine Church. "The Amistad Mass: A Tribute to the Unknown Slave" featured a musical performance by the Blind Boys of Alabama. From there a second line featuring the Treme Brass Band led us away from St. Augustine and through the gates of Armstrong Park. A light rain gained intensity until it became a downpour when we reached Congo Square, but there was no way to dampen the spirit of this second line. Beaming faces danced along as the parade drew closer to our sacred destination. It was truly one of those moments when you know that you are in the right place at the right time.

The rain didn't last too long, and by the time we were ready for music on the main stage the sun was shining and the day was heating up. The Festival featured two stages, one for dance demonstrations and one for featured musical acts. The lineup included Bamboula 2000, Tribe 101 (replacing Donald Harrison & Congo Nation), Big Sam's Funky Nation and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk. Big Chief Bo Dollis, who has not performed much recently due to illness, stopped by and seemed to be in great spirits as he watched the action. The day was filled with rhythmic drums and dancing Indians back in the place where it all started (in this country at least). Sometimes you have to go back to understand how to move forward.

Tribe 101
Tribe 101
Big Sam
Art Neville & Festival Founder Scott Aiges
Bamboula 2000 wit Alfred "Uganda" Roberts
Bamboula 2000
Big Chief Bo Dollis
Ivan Neville - Dumpstaphunk
Dumpstaphunk with Indians
Offerings to the departed at Congo Square
Louis Armstrong Statue

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Barefootpro starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/18/2007 09:22AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I was there -- great job capturing the feel, the love and the return that is currently New Orleans.

Well done, Dino.

~Jeffrey Dupuis

Flat5 Thu 10/18/2007 11:45AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Now that's the kind of content I like to see on Jambase! We wouldn't have "jam" if it were not for this kind of musical tradition. btw, if you haven't checked out the Wolfman, you should. That's some funky shit!