The Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival brings all the music, food, and culture of New Orleans to one place on March 3 and 4, 2018. Birthed in 2007, the festival is celebrating its 11th 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. Run by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival is a great season opener to the festivals to come this spring. Admission to the festival is free, so march on over to Armstrong Park this year and don’t miss out.
Here’s a look at this year’s schedule of performances:
Saturday, March 3
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Drum Circle
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Bamboula 2000
1:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. Fufu Allstars
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Alexey Marti Quintet
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Mardi Gras Indian Battle
4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Quiana Lynell
5:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Water Seed
6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Rebirth Brass Band
Sunday, March 4
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Drum Circle
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sneak Preview African Dance Performance: “Bricks: From the River to the Bayou” – a collaborative dance interpretation of New Orleans history in celebration of the city’s tricentennial
• “Katalis and Seremoni: Dutty Boukman, Cecile Fatima and Charles Deslondes,” performed by the Chakra and Omosede Dance Theater; “Fly With It!,” performed by Tekrema Dance Theater; “Mali,” performed by the Culu and N’Kafu African Dance Ensembles; “Indigenous,” performed by Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective
1 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. N’Fungola Sibo African Dance Company
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. 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. Hot 8 Brass Band
In addition to the great music you’ll hear at this festival, make sure to check out the food. This “Soul Food Court” will blend New Orleans cuisine with food from the Caribbean. Vendors include The Praline Connection, LaDelyo’s Café, Cocoa & Cream Catering, Boswell’s Jamaican Cuisine, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, Li’l Dustin’s Italian Ice, and more.
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.