CULTURAL EXCHANGE PAVILION
WON'T BOW DOWN!
THE CULTURAL EXCHANGE PAVILION STAYS HOME IN 2022 IN SUPPORT OF NEW ORLEANS’ AND LOUISIANA’S OWN ARTISTS AND CULTURE BEARERS.
New Orleans Black Masking Indians culture is front and center with daily performances on stage, parades strolling through the Pavilion, and an exhibit illustrating how a new generation uses their suit to respond to the contemporary challenges they face. The sound coming from the Pavilion is an eclectic blend of Black Masking Indian rhythms, brass bands, local blues, jazz, gospel and latin music, peppered with national and international guests.
QUEEN TAHJ WILLIAMS
PHOTO BY JUSTEN WILLIAMS
WORLD MUSIC CAMEOS
In keeping with its international flair, the pavilion features Tuareg desert blues virtuoso Bombino of Niger and Montreal-based Congolese electro music band Kizaba on April 29, powerhouse collective Lakou Mizik of Haiti on April 30, and Mexico City’s marimba innovators Son Rompe Pera on May 1.
SON ROMPE PERA OF MEXICO, MAR VAN DER AA PHOTO
BOMBINO OF NIGER
DAKHABRAKHA OF UKRAINE
Having long served as ambassadors for Ukrainian music and culture, DakhaBrakha bring its transnational sound rooted in Ukrainian culture to the Pavilion on April 30. For the musicians who had to flee their bombed city of Kyiv, every concert is an attempt to raise support for Ukraine and talk about the freedom they deserve.
2021 NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS FELLOW
WINNSBORO EASTER ROCK ENSEMBLE
From Northern Louisiana, 2021 NEA Heritage Fellow Winnsboro Easter Rock Ensemble presents a rare women-led African American spiritual tradition rooted in both Christian worship and West African ring shout tradition on May 8.
Chicano band Las Cafeteras performs on May 1. On second weekend, starting with Mariachi Jalisco on Cinco de Mayo, local latin favorites include Julio Y Cesar, Muévelo, Javier Olondo & AsheSon, and Treces del Sur.
WON’T BOW DOWN is an exhibit that illustrates how, despite the toll taken on the community by the pandemic over the past two years, the black Masking Indian culture of New Orleans stayed strong, and how a younger generation of members use their suit to respond to the contemporary challenges they face.
Jah Defender by Big Chief Demond Melancon, Young Seminole Hunters. On Mardi Gras day in 2021, Chief Demond Melancon’s Jah Defender suit appeared on Norman C. Francis Parkway, framed in a glass case, standing proudly on top of a pedestal where a Confederate statue formerly stood. Following the cancellation of all Mardi Gras gatherings in 2021 due to the pandemic, and in the context of the removal of confederate statues and the renaming of streets in New Orleans, the sight of Melancon’s temporary installation was a powerful reaffirmation of the strength, pride and resilience of the black masking Indian community in New Orleans.
Big Chief Tee, Black Hawk Hunters – During the “Peaceful Demonstration for the Young Black Generation” that he spearheaded in New Orleans in 2020, Terrance Williams Jr. aka Big Chief Tee was seen wearing all black instead of a suit, and wearing a tshirt reading “I am the future. I am not a threat.” At 18, Big Chief Tee is the youngest big chief in the Black Masking Indian tradition. Tee sewed his first suit on his own when he was eight, and made a name for himself in the community for his dedication to the culture. Tee has traveled throughout the country and abroad to share the beauty of New Orleans Black Masking Indian culture.
Queen Tahj Williams, Golden Eagles – A member of the Golden Eagles tribe, 23 year-old Queen Tahj Williams is known for her original suit designs and innovative style. She was featured in Teen Vogue in 2019 and had a cameo appearance in John Batiste’s music video Freedom in 2021. Tahj has become a role model for younger maskers, showing that young women are strong, and emphasizing the importance of female members in the tribe.
Queen Tiara Horton, 9th Ward Black Hatchet – 31 year-old teacher and educator Tiara Horton has been a member of the Black Masking Indian tradition since 2016. She is one of 5 queens in the 9th ward Black Hatchet tribe. After seeing Queen Tahj ’s crop top suit in 2017, Tiara felt freer to innovate and started to express her individuality through her suit. Her 2020 “Black Lives Matter” suit, which includes a historical timeline and portraits of African American leaders, offers a commentary on what is going on in her community today.
PHOTO BY TIMOTHY DUFFY (2014)
ALL MUSIC DOWN HERE
Celebrating the return of live music to the City, All Music Down here is a photo exhibit organized by the New Orleans Photo Alliance and juried by photographer and folklorist Timothy Duffy. In addition to being displayed at the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, selected work will be exhibited at the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery, 7800 Oak Street, April 23-June 26, 2022.
CULTURAL EXCHANGE PAVILION
FRIDAY APRIL 29
Michael Skinkus and Moyuba 11:30 AM-12:20 PM
79rs Gang Music Group 12:45 PM-1:35 PM
Kizaba 2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Golden Sioux and Black
Flame Hunters parade 3:10 PM-3:25 PM
High Steppers Brass Band 3:35 PM-4:20 PM
Bombino of Niger 4:45 PM-5:45 PM
SATURDAY APRIL 30
Young Pinstripe Brass Band 11:30 AM-12:15 PM
Big Chief Walter Cook presents
Queens of the Indian Nation 12:40 PM-1:15 PM
DhakaBrakha of Ukraine 1:40 PM-2:40 PM
Washitaw Nation, Young Cherokee
& New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian
Rhythm Section parade 2:50 PM-3:05 PM
Walter Wolfman Washington Trio 3:15 PM-4:20 PM
Lakou Mizik of Haiti 4:45 PM-5:45 PM
SUNDAY MAY 1
SOUL Brass Band 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Fi Yi Yi & the Mandigo Warriors 12:50 PM-1:25 PM
21st Century Brass Band with
Big Steppers, Untouchables &
Furious Five Social Aid &
Pleasure Clubs parade 1:35 PM-1:50 PM
Las Cafeteras 2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Washboard Chaz Blues Trio 3:20 PM-4:20 PM
Son Rompe Pera of Mexico 4:45 PM-5:45 PM
THURSDAY MAY 5
Pardon My French! 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Mariachi Jalisco 12:50 PM-1:40 PM
Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming
Arrows Mardi Gras Indians 2:00 PM-2:45 PM
Da Truth Brass Band 3:10 PM-4:05 PM
Big Chief Dow & the Timbuktu Warriors
and Black Mohawk parade 4:15 PM-4:30 PM
Treces del Sur Latin Music Band 4:40 PM-5:30 PM
FRIDAY MAY 6
The Tropicales 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Spyboy J & Thee Storm
Mardi Gras Indians 12:55 PM-1:40 PM
Kinfolk Brass Band 2:00 PM-2:50 PM
Panorama Jazz Band 3:10 PM-4:10 PM
New Generation Brass Band
with Perfect Gentlemen and
Lady & Men Rollers parade 4:20 PM-4:35 PM
Julio y Cesar Band 4:45 PM-5:45 PM
SATURDAY MAY 7
9th Ward Black Hatchet
Mardi Gras Indians 11:30 AM-12:05 PM
Javier Olondo and AsheSon 12:25 PM-1:10 PM
Black Magic Drumline 1:30 PM-2:00 PM
Storyville Stompers Brass Band 2:20 PM-3:05 PM
Pretty Young Eagles,
Young Magnolias and Buffalo
Hunters parade 3:15 PM-3:30 PM
Rory Block 3:40 PM-4:25 PM
Neo-Tokyo 2020 4:50 PM-5:45 PM
SUNDAY MAY 8
Muévelo 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Real Untouchables Brass Band
with Old & Nu Fellas & Original
CTC Steppers parade 12:40 PM-12:55 PM
Winnsboro Easter Rock Ensemble 1:05 PM-1:55 PM
Bill Summers & Jazalsa 2:20 PM-3:10 PM
Big Chief Juan & Jockimo’s Groove 3:35 PM-4:25 PM
New Birth Brass Band 4:45 PM-5:45 PM