Second Lines & Brass Bands

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Photos from Sunday's Take 'Em Down NOLA march to Lee Circle (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, May 7, 2017 at 10:45 PM



Images from the celebratory march and second line hosted by Take 'Em Down NOLA, which was greeted at Lee Circle by white supremacists who had rallied in defense of the Confederate monuments.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Editorial: Remembering Deborah "Big Red" Cotton

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 2:22 PM

On the evening of Deborah Cotton's death, musicians, friends and neighbors gathered in Treme to remember her, stopping outside her old apartment for a tribute. - CLANCY DUBOS
  • CLANCY DuBOS
  • On the evening of Deborah Cotton's death, musicians, friends and neighbors gathered in Treme to remember her, stopping outside her old apartment for a tribute.

“With each second line that rolled down Ursulines Avenue, New Orleans lured me from my dark brooding funk and tossed me into the fire of dancing Black folks and brass instruments bobbing down the street, burning, sweating, marching from one end of town to the other. This went on for months until one day, between the parades and sessions with my shrink and onset of Spring, I began to feel alive again. And the haunting images of dead floating bodies faded away.

“This is the beauty — and the problem — with living in New Orleans. At any moment, life and death change places with each other when you least expect it. And try as you may to control what you let enter your life, you never know what’s waiting around the corner that will either thrill you — or level you to the ground.”


Deborah “Big Red” Cotton wrote those words in 2007, in her book Notes From New Orleans — six years before the Mother’s Day second line tragedy in which she and 18 other people were shot by two men who fired into the crowd. She took only one of the many bullets that were fired, but no one was injured more severely than Deborah. In the years that followed, she underwent dozens of surgeries to repair internal organs. Last week — nearly four years to the day since the shooting — Deb succumbed to complications from those injuries four years ago. She was fearless, fierce, compassionate and taken far too soon at the age of 52. She still had work to do.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Orleans social media users remember Deborah "Big Red" Cotton

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 6:33 PM

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The passing of longtime New Orleans writer, activist, culture bearer and Gambit contributor Deborah "Big Red" Cotton was being roundly mourned today by a wide cross-section of New Orleanians, from former U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite to DJ Soul Sister and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. A sampling:

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Deborah Cotton, longtime Gambit second line correspondent, dies at 52

Posted By and on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Deborah Cotton.
  • Deborah Cotton.

"It is my belief that you don't choose New Orleans — New Orleans chooses you. Those who have fallen for her, live with her, are sprung, lost and turned out in love with her, know exactly what I mean. Ain't no amount of wind, water, gunfire, potholes, 'ignant' politics or doomsday predictions can pry your death grip from her. Come hell or high water, you stay — or return.

"She makes you high from laughing too much and too long. She breaks your heart till you're crying on the kitchen floor. She haunts you, melts you and is just a damn joy to live in.

"I think she's a cult."
— Deborah Cotton
Deborah "Big Red" Cotton, Gambit's longtime second-line correspondent, local writer, filmmaker and advocate for New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian, brass band and social aid and pleasure club cultures died May 2 at University Medical Center. She was 52.

She was among 19 people injured during a mass shooting at an Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club second-line parade she was filming on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013. She underwent dozens of surgeries to repair damage to several of her organs and a year of rehabilitation following the shooting. Friends of Cotton told The Advocate she had died from those injuries.

Cotton was raised in Texas and Oklahoma and lived in California before moving to New Orleans in 2005, just as Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee breaches damaged the city. ("Taking a cab from New Orleans to Houston is certainly an original, if not inexpensive way to escape Armageddon," she noted.) She returned after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures with a mission to chronicle through blogs, photography and film what she considered the underreported aspects of New Orleans culture: Treme,  where she lived, brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure clubs.

In 2007, Cotton published the book Notes From New Orleans: Spicy, Colorful Tales of Politics, People, Food, Drink, Men, Music and Life in Post-Breaches New Orleans, In it, she tackled such disparate subjects as the death of famed chef Austin Leslie; the eternal divide between native and non-native New Orleanians; the stories of the people of the 9th Ward; "The Welcome Arrival of Zoloft and the National Guard"; her search for the perfect "big black man named James" ("a tall black bear with a big belly who loves him a thick yella girl, the kind that would inspire Jill Scott to write a third album"); and her growing disillusionment with then-Mayor Ray Nagin.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Second line Sunday: Downtown Super Sunday and New Orleans Bayou Steppers

Posted By on Sun, Apr 2, 2017 at 11:03 AM

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INDIAN CHA WA” DOWNTOWN SUPER SUNDAY PARADE

and

NEW ORLEANS BAYOU STEPPERS SOCIAL AID & PLEASURE CLUB PARADE


(route info for both parades both)

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Second Line Sunday and Uptown Super Sunday

Posted By on Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 8:53 PM


Uptown Super Sunday, St. Joseph’s Night

and

Single Men SAPC Second Line Parade

Sunday, March 19, 2017

This Sunday is the second of five annual events featuring Mardi Gras Indians that happen each year in New Orleans: Mardi Gras Day, Super Sunday Uptown, St. Joseph’s Night, Super Sunday Downtown and Super Sunday Westbank. On Sunday, March 19, Black Mardi Gras Indians from all parts of New Orleans will come together along with the city’s top brass bands and several social aid and pleasure clubs in an incredible show of unity and artistry to be followed by a festival full of live music, food, children's activities, and more.

Coincidentally, Uptown Super Sunday falls on St. Joseph’s Day this year. Sunday night around sunset, Indians from both Uptown and Downtown tribes will return to the streets dressed in their finery to roam their neighborhood followed by admiring fans and followers. They can usually be spotted at Second and Dryades streets uptown and around St. Bernard Ave. and N. Claiborne Ave. downtown. Westbank Super Sunday and Downtown Super Sunday will follow in the coming months this Spring, dates to be announced as they are made available.

And finally, the Single Men’s Social Aid and Pleasure Club are having their annual parade Uptown Sunday as well, rolling in the general vicinity as the Indians around Central City. The Stooges Brass Band will be providing music for this four hour second line happening 2p.m.-6 p.m.


Routes and other details for Super Sunday and the Single Men’s second line listed below:

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Second line Sunday: Keep-N-It Real parade

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 3:39 PM

Keep N It Real second line
  • Keep N It Real second line

KEEP N IT REAL PARADE

1 p.m.-5 p.m. SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2017

Theme: This Club On Fire

(route details below)

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Second line Sunday: VIP Ladies and Kids parade

Posted By on Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 3:59 PM

VIP Kids
  • VIP Kids

VIP LADIES & KIDS SOCIAL AID & PLEASURE CLUB 14TH ANNUAL PARADE

12:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m. SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2017

"We March for Cancer Victims/Survivors, Women with a Purpose"

"God is always in control; Trust him. He will never leave or forsake you"

(route details below)

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mardi Gras Indian Super Sunday is March 19

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 12:52 PM

Indians parade in 2016's Super Sunday procession. This year's event is March 19.
  • Indians parade in 2016's Super Sunday procession. This year's event is March 19.

The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council announced the date and lineup for 2017's Super Sunday procession, featuring tribes, brass bands and a festival at A.L. Davis Park. The festival opens at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 19 at the park at Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street with a parade beginning at 1 p.m. This year's event also falls on St. Joseph's Day, another important masking and parading day for the Indians.

The city's many Indian groups will parade in their 2017 suits, beginning at Washington and continuing to Simon Bolivar Avenue, then left to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, left on Claiborne Avenue, then left on Washington for performances inside the park. There typically are dozens of food and drink vendors surrounding the park and route.

There also are performances from the Hot 8, Young Pinstripe and To Be Continued brass bands, as well as Big Al Carson, DJ Captain Charles, DJ Jubilee, and the Young Men Olympian and Lady Buckjumpers social aid and pleasure clubs, among others.

This year's event is in honor of the late Big Chief Bo Dollis Sr., Big Chief Larry Bannock and Jo "Cool" Davis.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Backstreet Cultural Museum hosting Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras events

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Big Chief Bruce Sunpie Barnes & Northside Skull & Bone masker Ronald Lewis
  • Zada Johnson
  • Big Chief Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes & Northside Skull & Bone masker Ronald Lewis


Come out and celebrate Lundi Gras AND Mardi Gras in the Treme with events sponsored by the Backstreet Cultural Museum. They've got a second line (natch) as well as breakfast cocktails, food, music and revelry with the Northside Skull & Bone Gang, Indians and Baby Dolls.

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