The Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra at the Hi Ho Lounge on Fat Tuesday!

Finding the black Indians of New Orleans on Mardi Gras is always a challenge. Hearing them sing their songs is even more of a mean feat considering all the photographers vying for the best shot as the tribes march and meet one another. If you want a guarantee that you’ll hear the songs and see at least one Indian, head to the Hi Ho Lounge Fat Tuesday afternoon.

This year’s eagerly awaited return of the all-star Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra honors two of the group’s dearly departed founding members, Big Chief Roddy Lewis of the Black Eagles and saxophonist Tim Green. They will play at 6 PM.

The band, which presents big band arrangements of classics from the black Indian canon of New Orleans, features numerous well-known New Orleans musicians. Big Chief David Montana of the Washitaw Nation Mardi Gras Indian tribe fronts the orchestra along with accordionist, percussionist and vocalist Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes of Sunpie and Louisiana Sunspots and various other ensembles.

The string section features cellist and solo loop artist Helen Gillet and violinist Dr. Sick of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. The rhythm section includes drummer Eric Bolivar, keyboardist Chris Spies, and bassist Reggie Scanlan of the Radiators. Camile Baudoin of the Radiators is on guitar. The Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra will hit at 6 PM on Fat Tuesday.

Jimbo Mathus, the mastermind behind the million-selling sensation, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, is the leader of the Overstuffed Po-Boys. They will play at 4 PM on Fat Tuesday and expect to hear 1960s and 1970s R&B classics from New Orleans including works by the likes of Ernie K Doe, Chris Kenner, Lee Dorsey, and Robert Parker.


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