Cha Wa brings NOLA spirit to Taos

Louisiana funk band to perform free concert in Kit Carson Park


After honing their explosive sound in clubs and festivals around the Crescent City, the Mardi Gras Indian funk band Cha Wa is releasing their debut album, according to press materials. The recording, aptly named "Funk 'n' Feathers,” is their red-hot combination of two of New Orleans’ best traditions, Mardi Gras Indians and street level funk music. 

See what all the noise is about today (Aug. 2) when Cha Wa performs for free in Kit Carson Park, 211 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Cha Wa is the featured entertainment for the weekly Movies on the Green event sponsored by the Town of Taos, and thanks to Roots & Wires Presents. Music is set to begin at 7 p.m., followed by a screening of of the Disney/Pixar animated family film, “Monsters, Inc.”

The album “Funk 'n' Feathers” is described as a combination of “deep funk, percussive polyrhythms, and a mix of singing and Mardi Gras Indian chanting.  All of these elements fuse into an intoxicating, hypnotic blend of culture that could only come out of the Crescent City.”

Bandleader-drummer Joe Gelini says in a statement, “The music is based on the Mardi Gras Indians, the brass bands, and the street culture of New Orleans. Cha Wa” is a slang phrase used by every Mardi Gras Indian tribe. It means ‘We’re comin’ for ya’ — and this band is definitely comin’ for ya!”

This is what PopMatters had to say about their debut album, “Funk 'n' Feathers,” "Cha Wa hail from New Orleans and carry on the long cherished traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians, while infusing their music with contemporary NOLA street funk ... a grand gumbo of singing, chanting, intoxicating rhythms, and some deep funk grooves that are simply impossible to resist."

Make sure to bring chairs, blankets and a picnic to make yourself comfortable. Concessions will be available. There will also be a free Kids Zone, which includes a Bounce House and Velcro Wall.

Take note, fans of Roots & Wires will want to know that the local music promoters will be bringing boogie woogie piano legend Marcia Ball to Scott Carlson's Pottery Gallery in downtown Arroyo Seco at 7 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 10) for another great Celebrate Seco free show. And, on Friday (Aug. 25) at 8 p.m., watch for Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas live from Lafayette Louisiana at Taos Mesa Brewing’s Mothership.