UPDATE: there are some terrific bands playing at Mardi Gras in Honolulu – They’ve got a cajun band, some zydeco, some swamp rock, and of course, some terrific Brasilian Carneval music. BUT since the Royal Elephant Brass Band and Anti-Poaching Society is Honolulu’s one and only New Orleans-style authentic old-school right-from-the-seventh-ward street parady let’s-have-a-jazz-funeral brass band, we are supposed to be everywhere at once. And also, to s t r e t c h o u t our playing and pace ourselves so that we still have some lips left at the end of the gig.
So, for your listening pleasure we have an intricate schedule, and those of you who wish to second line all night, and shake your bootie til it falls off, can take a look.
Here is the minute-by-minute schedule for the Royal Elephants for Tuesday Feb 21st at the big block party.
5:30 PM the band gathers at The Arts at Mark’s garage. the streets get closed off at the stroke of 6 PM!
6:00-6:15pm – Perform Near Troubadour Stage –
6:30-6:40pm – March into and perform at The Arts at Marks Garage –
7:00-7:15pm – Perform on Int’l Stage –
8:45 -9:00pm – Perform Near Gumbo Stage –
10:00-10:20pm – Perform inside The Arts at Marks w/ Cherry Blossom Cabaret
The Party Itself
The big block party for Mardi Gras in Honolulu will be Tuesday Feb 21st – Mardi Gras, by definition, is always on a Tuesday. The Royal Elephant Brass Band and Anti-Poaching Society will be there. Last year’s Honolulu Mardi Gras was lots of fun for us – though I confess we did not stay until the end. Since we are the only old-school New Orleans-style brass band in this town, we wouldn’t miss it!
We will actually be the first band to play. The streets get closed off for this event, but they can not start setting up on the street until the stroke of 6 P.M. – consequently the bands which require a sound system and a stage and microphones etc are not able to start until the crew works feverishly to put it together.
We played a short TV promo last year – click if you want to see me in a gold sequined shirt.
Carneval – Oi Brasil!
There is a Brazilian Carneval focus since the Brazilian community of Honolulu is very prominent.
Our band does not need amplification ( my trumpet can be heard a half mile away).
In N’Owlins proper, a small marching brass band is used to herald festive events, including funerals. That’s what we do ( we have yet to play a funeral in this town though). so – we will be on the street, moving around.
the general public is invited to “second line” with us. Now, the “first line” at an event consists of the people who paid for the band, but one of the amazing cultural things about New Orleans is that anybody can join in, that’s where the term “second line” comes in – you don’t need to know anybody – just do it.
On YouTube, you can find a short teaching video on how to be a respectable second line dancer. It’s easy and fun. It’s a bit more fun if you have a prop, such as a fancy parasol or a walking cane. And of course, a top hat!
A musical buddy of mine used to say, “we’re not creating music, we’re creating energy.” I found a terrific description of that way of thinking, as applied to New Orleans music on Good Reads:
“Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, once told me that when a brass band plays at a small club back up in one of the neighborhoods, it’s as if the audience–dancing, singing to the refrains, laughing–is part of the band. They are two parts of the same thing. The dancers interpret, or it might be better to say literally embody, the sounds of the band, answering the instruments. Since everyone is listening to different parts of the music–she to the trumpet melody, he to the bass drum, she to the trombone–the audience is a working model in three dimensions of the music, a synesthesic transformation of materials. And of course the band is also watching the dancers, and getting ideas from the dancers’ gestures. The relationship between band and audience is in that sense like the relationship between two lovers making love, where cause and effect becomes very hard to see, even impossible to call by its right name; one is literally getting down, as in particle physics, to some root stratum where one is freed from the lockstop of time itself, where time might even run backward, or sideways, and something eternal and transcendent is accessed.” ― Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters
First Friday Feb 3rd 2012 7 PM to whenever
If you want to get a head start on the second line, be advised: The Royal Elephants will be creating music at the First Friday Art Walk on February 3rd, starting at The Arts at Mark’s Garage and strolling around from there. Come join us.
laissez le bon temps roulez!