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Things to Do

Experience the Congo Square Rhythms Festival in New Orleans

N'Fungola Sibo Dance Theater at the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival brings all the music, food, and culture of New Orleans to one place on March 30-31, 2019. Birthed in 2007, the festival is celebrating its 12th year doing what it does best.

At the festival, you can expect brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, funky New Orleans jazz, and African drumming and dance. Produced by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival is a great season opener the coming festivals this spring. Admission to the festival is free, so march on over to Armstrong Park this year and don’t miss out.

The Congo Square Rhythms Festival (Photo: Paul Broussard)


The music at this festival honors African culture and Congo Square as the birthplace of American music. Here’s a look at this year’s schedule of performances:

Saturday, March 30
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.    Dzakpa Ewe Ensemble
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.   Bamboula 2000
1:00 p.m. to 2 p.m.            The Nayo Jones Experience
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.       Max Moran and Neospectric
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.       Mardi Gras Indian Battle
4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.       Chief Monk Boudreaux
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.      Kumasi Afrobeat Orchestra

Sunday, March 31
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.   Open Drum Circle
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.     Dance Performances: Dancing Grounds Elite Feet Krewe, Chakra Dance Theater
Tekrema Dance Theater, N’Kafu  and Culu African Dance Ensembles, Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective, N’Fungola Sibo African Dance Company, Garifuna Generation
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.      Original Pinettes Brass Band
3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.      Class Got Brass Contest
5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.      Rebirth Brass Band

James Andrews and the Crescent City All Stars at the Congo Square Rhythms Festival (Photo: Paul Broussard)


In addition to the great music you’ll hear at this festival, make sure to check out the food. Five vendors – including recent graduates of the Catapult Fund business accelerator program – will offer cuisine that ranges from New Orleans classics to traditional Caribbean dishes.


Swing by the arts market for handmade crafts from local artists. Over two dozen vendors will be offering fine art, jewelry, photography, and more during the festival. Remember: leave the outside food, beverages, and pets at home.

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