Artist Profiles: Cha Wa

Cha Wa

New Orleans brass band Cha Wa was created in 2014 by bandleader and drummer Joe Gelini. Gelini was attracted by the Mardi Gras Indians tradition. After graduating from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, he moved to New Orleans.

In southern Louisiana, Gelini met Monk Boudreaux, Big Chief of the Golden Eagles and one of the most widely known Mardi Gras Indian singers. Monk’s grandson, J’Wan Boudreaux became Cha Wa’s frontman and lead singer.

Cha Wa evolved into a remarkable ensemble, combining traditional New Orleans brass band music with funk and other modern influences. Cha Wa’s debut album was titled “Funk N Feathers.” It was followed by “Spyboy.” Guests on Spyboy included Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Nigel Hall, and Danica Hart.


Carnival Caravan, with Nation Beat (2015)
Funk’N’Feathers (UPT Music, 2015)
Jazzfest 2015 (Munck Mix, 2015)
Spyboy (UPT Music, 2018)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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