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.
Carnegie Hall has announced a series of free concerts on Fridays at Bryant Park, July 12 – August 9, 2019. The five concerts will present outstanding artists in the areas of roots and classical music.
“For more than four decades, Carnegie Hall has partnered with community organizations in all five boroughs, offering free performances by renowned mainstage artists and rising musical stars in New York City neighborhoods, bringing together local residents and people from all over to share in great music,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “As part of this commitment to community, we are thrilled to return to Bryant Park this summer, presenting five fantastic concerts, kicking off next season’s Carnegie Hall Citywide series.”
This year’s concerts include renowned Canadian Quebecois act Le Vent du Nord (July 12); Ray and Vivian Chew’s Night of Inspiration, featuring Anthony Brown & group therAPy and The String Queens (July 19); funk-fueled New Orleans brass Cha Wa (July 26); classical music and dazzling virtuosity from Harlem Quartet (August 2); and, the finalé of the series, Carnegie Hall Citywide Night, with Matuto, Eileen Ivers, and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas (August 9).
Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park; or, take the 7 train to 5th Avenue.