Our incredible talent line-up includes: masters of Haitian roots music Boukman Eksperyans, Diplo and Jillionaire of Major Lazer, DJ Michael Brun from Haiti, and of course Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. There will be incredible secret guests as well.
known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase would introduce one of the first African American fine dining restaurants to the Country. In addition to her signature Creole Cuisine, Leah would begin to showcase African American Art throughout the walls of Dooky’s. Dooky Chase’s Restaurant was the first art gallery for black artists in New Orleans. Today Dooky Chase’s remains family owned and operated. After Hurricane Katrina Dooky’s did close for a two years to rebuild, but with assistance of many, Dooky Chase’s remains the premier restaurant for authentic Creole Cuisine. The Chase Family enjoys serving its regular customers, tourists, and locals. They also remain a stopping place for politicians, musicians, visual artists, and literary giants. Dooky Chase’s has had the pleasure of serving both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, Hank Aaron, Ernest Gaines, Quincy Jones and a list of others.
2019 KING DJ JUBILEE
DJ Jubilee is a leader of the New Orleans bounce movement and stands for all things New Orleans. From call and response jams like “Get It Ready” and “Back That Thang Up” to his newest hit “GitOnDaFlur”, DJ Jubilee is the indisputable king of bounce. Born Jerome Temple and long-time Special Education teacher at a local high school, Jubilee was discovered by area producers Earl J. Mackie and Henry F. Holden while performing at a school dance. He soon signed to their Take Fo' Records label. DJ Jubilee's debut cassette, Stop Pause, appeared in 1995, followed later that same year by the full-length DJ Jubilee & Cartoon Drew. After returning in 1996 with 20 Years in the Jets, he issued Take It to the St. Thomas two years later.
2018 QUEEN IRMA THOMAS
The Soul Queen of New Orleans
"She remains one of America’s most distinctive and classic singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music who remains as compelling and powerful as ever..." Rounder Records
2018 KING CHARLIE GABRIEL
Known to friends and relatives as Charlie 'G', Charlie Gabriel was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is a fourth generation New Orleans jazz musician. Charlie has played authentic New Orleans music with top traditional musicians such as Kid Howard, Kid Sheik, Jim Robinson, George Lewis and others on Bourbon Street, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and around the world. Charlie came to Detroit at the age of fourteen. He was so experienced that he was asked to join the Lionel Hampton band at age sixteen. In the early '70s, Charlie was a member of Aretha Franklin's Orchestra. He continued to play throughout the states and abroad, also working with Nancy Wilson, Joe Simon and JC Heard. Charlie has worked in and around many of the most famous venues on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
He currently performs with his group, the Gabriel Traditional Jazz Band, in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed in Barcelona for the Swingfonia Festival as well as the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He also is a traveling member of the Marcus Belgrave Louis Armstrong Tribute Orchestra, as well as performing with an ensemble that includes vocal stylist Joan Belgraveas they pay tribute to the Great Ladies of Song: Dinah, Ella, & Billie. His CD, Live at the Kerrytown Concert House (recorded with Red Richards), won the grand prize for 1994 best Foreign CD, presented by the Hot Club de Limoges in France. The Hot Club de Limoges then released a double-CD, Jubile, in 1998, featuring music recorded by Charlie Gabriel, Red Richards (piano/vocal), Reggie Johnson (bass), and Georges Bernasconi (drums). Charlie's recordings span the range from the earliest traditional jazz to modern straight ahead, and his own contemporary and spiritual compositions.
Second lines and voodoo queens. Gris-gris charms and creole cottages and sugarcane. Sound like New Orleans? Yeah, you right. But these icons of local culture are owed, like much else in history and life here, to a Caribbean nation where striding the streets behind a raucous band is called rara and whose vodou lifeways were forged amidst the only successful slave revolution in history. They’re owed to Haiti.
In colonial days, the trading post of Nouveau Orleans was a backwater. The pearl of France’s American empire was Sainte Domingue: the stunningly lucrative and brutal sugar colony, on the island of Hispaniola, where between 1701 and 1791 the French imported upwards of a million enslaved Africans to furnish sweets to Old World tables. When those slaves rose up to kill their masters, they founded a new black nation on the world stage and changed history. They also changed New Orleans.
The triumph of Haiti’s Revolution didn’t merely ensure that New Orleans would become a part of the United States by convincing Napoleon, after his forces lost a last bid to re-take Sainte Domingue in 1803, to cut his New World losses and sell Louisiana. The Revolution’s aftermath also guaranteed that this city would remain a French-speaking place for decades thereafter, by sending thousands of refugees—sugar planters, freed people of color, and slaves alike—to New Orleans. When ten-thousand more of these refugees were expelled from Cuba in 1809, their arrival to New Orleans doubled the city’s size, and planted in its creole mud seeds whose flourishing made not a few of the traditions we most identify with a time of year we call Mardi Gras and Haitians call kanaval.
Its those seeds’ source that we hail today, from Calliope to Congo Square, by bowing down to a nation that’s caught shit from another idiot king of late but whose mighty culture and contributions, as evolved people across the Americas know, demands not our denigration but our celebration—and our thanks. Haiti sits at the center of our history. In this krewe, it sits at the center of our present and our future, too. And as they’d say in Haiti: Kenbe la! Keep going.
- Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
Author of Island People: The Caribbean and the World