NOLA: Goin' Home | 09.29 & 09.30

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

JamBase | Louisiana
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 10/17/07]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!




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!