Well, we’ve done it folks. We have made it to the final (and wildest) weekend of the Carnival season. There have been parades and costumes and glitter and king cake. Oh, the king cake! But the best it yet to come as this fresh show roundup comes to you on the Friday before Mardi Gras. With Big Freedia taking over One Eyed Jacks for her very own Freedia Gras and Mannie Fresh celebrating Lundi Gras at The Maison, your musical month will start strong this year. Take a quick break for Ash Wednesday, clean your house, do your laundry, and get back out there to enjoy more live music this March.
Fresh off the heels of the release of their first studio album in three years, Galactic has been taking an even more contemporary approach to their already progressive sound, injecting modern rhythms and electronic instrumentation with the house-shaking framework of New Orleans’ funk pop n’ roll. Catch this show featuring Erica Falls and soul bank Miss Mojo on March 1 at Tipitina’s.
Big Freedia, known as the Queen of Bounce, is a New Orleans-based rapper and an ambassador of bounce music. A vibrant twist of hip-hop, bounce music is characterized by call-and-response lyrics over rapid-fire beats and booty-shaking.
Since taking the industry by storm in 2014, electric New Orleans native Pell, born Jared Pellerin, has continued to expand his sound and musicality. His stellar Floating While Dreaming mixtape garnered attention and praise from press across the board, including FADER, Billboard, XXL, Complex, among others.
If you thought one night of Big Freedia would be enough, you were sadly mistaken. Catch the show for a second night in a row with Sweet Crude starting the evening. Indigenous to South Louisiana, Sweet Crude is making popular and progressive dance music that continues to embrace the region’s French-speaking tradition.
March 4: Lundi Gras with Mannie Fresh at The Maison at 10 p.m.
Mannie Fresh is a producer, artist, and entertainer who started as one of the best DJs in New Orleans. Now, he’s returning to his musical roots. The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated producer known for creating hits (UGK, Trina, Gucci Man, The Notorious B.I.G., and, of course, Cash Money) is now back to spinning full time, moving the crowd and DJ-ing in clubs across the country.
March 7: Alexis and the Samurai at d.b.a. at 7 p.m.
After having lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, Alexis Marceaux has spent the last decade returning home and re-building their career. The meantime has been hard-fought but fruitful, with appearances at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, SXSW, and several tours in the US and Europe. Alexis and bandmate Sam Craft met in 2009 and the duo drew an all-star cast, 25 of NOLA’s finest musicians of every genre for a big, lush, indie-pop opus with a distinct Louisiana flavor for their debut.
March 9: Nebula Rosa at Maple Leaf Bar at 8 p.m.
More than cosmic coincidence or celestial convergence, Nebula Rosa is the brainchild of singer/songwriters and guitarists George Elizondo and Josh Starkman. While both were born in the multicultural musical hotbed of Miami, they wouldn’t meet until much later in New Orleans, another city renowned for its wide-ranging musical heritage. Their universalism comes in many forms: it’s in the stellar name, the relatable lyrical themes encompassing the human experience, the catchy hooks, and the global effort employed in bringing their debut album to life, from top-call studio musicians in their home of New Orleans, to artwork and mixing in Nicaragua and mastering in England.
Tasche de la Rocha, Joanna Tomassoni, Aaron Benjamin, Alex Bosworth, and Travers Joffrey play 5 For 5, a curated experience featuring five songwriters playing five songs each for only five dollars at the door.
New Orleans native DJ RQ Away has made a name for himself by being able to create a distinct vibe no matter where he spins. His eclectic sound and ability to bend genres have captured ears in intimate spaces of downtown New Orleans, neighborhood bars in Brooklyn and the pubs of London. For over a decade DJ RQ Away’s career has thrived off his unique artistry and leadership. In addition to curating unique experiences that strengthen community ties through dance, he also operates as founder and lead organizer of the citywide brand, #AWAYTEAM. His high-quality works have made him a beloved household name as well as the go-to DJ for worldwide acts and brands like Robert Glasper, The Foreign Exchange, Erykah Badu, and Bilal.
Gravity A developed from the musical vibrations of the city around it and has exhilarated audiences with fresh and dynamic energy and an innovative sound made up of soulful jazz, second line fusions, and the possibilities of electronic progressions. Cliff Hines is a progressive jazz guitarist and composer from New Orleans and has shared the stage with such heavyweights as Mike Dillon, Skerik, Marco Benevento, Stanton Moore, Johnny Vidacovich, Tony Clifton, Brian Haas and Mark Southerland (of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey), John Speice (of Grupo Fantasma), and Helen Gillet. He is currently touring with The Mike Dillon Band as their bassist/guitarist/keyboard player.