Saturday 1/18/14 d.b.a 11pm www.dbaneworleans.com
Saturday 1/25/14 Maple Leaf Bar 11pm www.mapleleafbar.com
1/26/14 Private Event at Mardi Gras World
Saturday 2/8 Project Homecoming: Our Key Event Gala
Friday 2/21 Roots of the Groove Drum Workshop, Gowanus Arts Building, Brooklyn NY. 7:30-9:30pm
Saturday 2/22, S.O.B.'s, NY, NY. 8pm
Friday 2/28 Rusty Nail, New Orleans, 10pm
Monday, 3/3 Lundi Gras Show d.b.a. New Orleans, 10pm
Friday 3/14 Le Bon Temps Roulé, New Orleans, 11pm
Sunday 3/23 Congo Square Festival w/ Nation Beat, New Orleans
Saturday 4/5 Freret Festival, New Orleans, 11am
Saturday 5/3, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Saturday 5/24, Universal Studios, FL
"The Mardi Gras Indian funk band is following in the big footsteps of legendary stage acts such as Big Chief Bo Dollis and Wild Magnolias and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux by fusing the ancient call and response of the black Indians of New Orleans with
Drummer Joe Gelini was playing with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux during Super Sunday 2010 when something caught his ear. "I heard this voice that was so commanding, this big, booming, rhythmic voice," he says. It belonged to Mardi Gras Indian singer Eric "Yedi" Boudreaux. "Yedi and I started playing together in the street. It just felt so natural."
The result was Cha Wa. "We start out with the traditional Mardi Gras Indian call-and- response music that you hear in the streets," says Gelini. "Some of these songs have been played traditionally for over a 100 years. We weren't trying to reinvent the wheel, but we were trying to do our own version, which is inspired by our love of the music." He cites the Wild Magnolias, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, and the Wild Tchoupitoulas as influences.
"There's a tendency to have a revolving cast of characters," Gelini says. "I really wanted to have a band." The band now includes Colin Lake (lap steel), August Jepson (congas), Bill Richards (bass), Tom Worrell (keys) and Kerry Vessell (bass drum). In their live shows, Cha Wa is all about building a groove. "It's really about using dynamics, about being able to build things up then break it down," says Gelini. "To be able to have tension and release even though you're keeping the same repetitive rhythm or form." Lake's lap steel is one of the most distinctive parts of Cha Wa's sound. "He infuses a little more blues into it than the normal funk approach," Gelini adds.
"For me the exciting thing is this band is so young. We're really just getting started."
"New Orleans' favorite, Cha Wa is gracing the stage of d.b.a this Thursday. Merging the sounds of Mardi Gras Indian street chants and blues, Cha Wa creates a sound of their own, unparalleled by any other band. Witness these New Orleans greats do what they do best."