A Flavor of New Orleans Right At Home

By: Tanvi Dange ’17  
Staff Writer

With Mardi Gras falling early this month, the community got a taste of some traditional music from New Orleans on March 21.

Students had the opportunity to hear New Orleans brass/funk from The Jambalaya Brass Band. They incorporate a special blend of R&B, Funk, Gospel, Jazz, Latin, Hip Hop and Be-Bop.  A few hours before the performance, the students in orchestra had the opportunity to watch the band rehearse. Some of the orchestra students even had a chance to participate, during the rehearsal and also during the actual performance.  Saxophone player Luna An ’16 learned a lot from participating in both of those opportunities.

“It was a very interesting experience,” An said. “It was really fun and enlightening, and they taught us a lot about the style of New Orleans music.

The Jambalaya Brass Band performed in Geiger- Reeves where their performance included a march around the theater and throwing beaded necklaces into the crowd.

“The performance by Jambalaya was really entertaining,” Marissa Michaels ’17 said.  “It was great to experience music from a city that we have never been to, especially for the students going to New Orleans next month. It got everyone participating, which was really fun.”

“I like Jazz music, so naturally I loved the performance! I enjoyed the interaction Jambalaya had with the audience, and their skill was unlike anything I have ever heard live,” Qadira Al-Mahi ’15 said.

This performance was one of the three cultural events hosted at Peddie each year. Cultural events have been introduced with the goal of offering students an opportunity to expand their knowledge about other cultures.  These cultural events would not be possible without Math Teacher John Bates, who arranges each cultural event.

“The Jambalaya Brass Band is a very fine example of a traditional New Orleans brass group which plays music from today but can go back over a century to the beginnings of jazz, ragtime and the blues,” Bates said. “The crowd seemed excited and so was the band and I thought we had a great evening.”