Big Sam’s Funky Nation  •  The Zahria Sims Collective atTipitina's
Thursday, March 14
Doors 7:00PM
Show 8:00PM
18 & Over

When you think of New Orleans, the city’s foremost flambeaux-lit traditions of Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, voodoo, Po’ boys, beads, gumbo, and second line undoubtedly come to mind. You can also count Big Sam’s Funky Nation amongst those NOLA treasures.

Known for a boisterous blend of funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, nothing short of seismic live “experiences, and a whole lot of Southern charm, Big Sam’s Funky Nation might very well be The Big Easy’s best kept secret.

No other place could birth such an undeniable, unpredictable, and downright unique collective.

“By playing on these streets, you learn how to work your craft and entertain an audience,” exclaims Sam. “You can go to Julliard and Berklee all you want, but they won’t teach you how to rock a stage. It comes naturally in New Orleans. I’ve been here my whole life and rocking these streets. Even during Hurricane Katrina, I drove nine hours from San Antonio every weekend for two years just to play live. The sound out here is unlike anything else in the world. It’s not just a figure of speech—there’s music going all night, literally.”

Zahria Sims is a young saxophonist, composer, recording artist and bandleader who discovered her love for music at an early age. Zahria’s love for music and songwriting is a reflection of her upbringing; both her parents are musicians well versed in the gospel genre.

Zahria is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and she is now based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has immersed herself in the rich culture and musical heritage of the city and is excited about the future of its musical climate and how she will take part in that story.

Zahria graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in Music Industries. At Loyola, she participated in the Jazz Band, Contemporary Ensemble, and Concert Band. She has performed at major events and festivals such as New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the National Fried Chicken Festival, Gentilly Fest and performs a weekly residency at the Jazz Playhouse with a local band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation.

Zahria founded The Zahria Sims Collective in 2019, an ensemble that focuses on Black American Music, which incorporates aspects traditionally associated with Jazz, Funk, Soul, and R&B. They play regularly in the Greater New Orleans area and are preparing to release their debut album. Sims leads her band while recording and performing with various bands as a freelance saxophonist throughout New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Zahria has opened up for artists such as Kenny Garrett, Arturo Sandaval, and has performed and been mentored by artists like Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Emmy and Grammy award-winner Michael Esneault and performed with the likes of Matt Wilson, Camille Thurman, Tia Fuller, Quiana Lynell and many more. Zahria was selected and performed as a member of the 2020 JEN Conference “Sisters in Jazz” Collegiate Combo, under the leadership of Tia Fuller. Sims recently completed a 10-day tour in Israel which she considered an impromptu blessing and an opportunity of lifetime.

Sims serves as an assistant instructor at the Birch Creek Performing Arts Center in Door County, Wisconsin for their Jazz Summer Workshop. As an artist, performer, composer, educator, and band leader, Zahria is fulfilling her dream and purpose spreading joy, love, and peace through music.