Cha Wa Mardi Gras Indians At Ogden After Hours

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Cha Wa Mardi Gras Indians At Ogden After Hours
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Ogden Museum of Southern Art says
“…a grand gumbo of singing, chanting, intoxicating rhythms, and some deep funk grooves that are simply impossible to resist.” - by PopMatters

Join us this week at OAH for a performance by the Cha Wa Mardi Gras Indians!

Pop Up MILKFISH will be here serving up scrumptious Fillipino cuisine!


The two leaders of Cha Wa, singer/percussionist Honey Banister and drummer Joe Gelini, have been involved with the Mardi Gras Indians for years. Honey Banister, Big Chief of the Creole Wild West tribe, combines both the Mardi Gras Indian tradition and the history of New Orleans rhythm and blues. His father, Irving Banister Sr., is an unsung hero of New Orleans music, having played with everyone from Danny White to Eddie Bo to Allen Toussaint. It is his guitar on “Sugar Boy” Crawford’s original version of the song “Jock-A-Mo.” Honey’s mother, Big Queen Ledell Banister, is also a member of the Creole Wild West tribe – recognized as the oldest of all the tribes, dating back to the late 1800’s. She got Honey involved when he was 6, and he has been with them ever since, recently rising to the highest rank of the tribe.

Gelini moved to New Orleans after graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. “That’s where I first heard of the Mardi Gras Indians,” he recalls, “I went to see Idris Muhammed (the New Orleans-born seminal jazz/funk drummer) play, and I asked if I could have a lesson. When we got together, he told me, ‘Man, you got to understand what I’m playing is the Mardi Gras Indian tambourine parts when I’m playing the snare drum.”’ After he moved to New Orleans, Joe saw the Mardi Gras Indians emerging on Mardi Gras day to march down Dryades Street and, he says, “I was hooked. It’s a spiritual thing. It’s more than the music.”

Photo credit Christopher Porche West
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By: Ogden Museum of Southern Art

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