Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements with soulful melodies that are simple enough for anyone to enjoy. In Big Easy tradition, dueling baselines from Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III set off one of the dirtiest rhythm sections on the planet, while Ivan Neville lights up the Hammond B3 keys and cousin Ian Neville’s funky guitar riffs send the groove into overdrive. The band recently welcomed their newest member, Alvin Ford Jr. to the quintet, a New Orleans born and raised powerhouse drummer. Dumpstaphunk tosses around lead vocals and four-part harmonies the way Sly & the Family Stone did, but with three studio albums under their belt, Dumpstaphunk stands on the merit of their own material. Songs like “Dancin’ To The Truth” off their latest record, Dirty Word (July 30, 2013, Louisiana Red Hot Records), offer an escape into the funky sublime, sharing the true spirit of New Orleans with every note.
Dating back to the late 1800s, the Mardi Gras Indian tradition began when African-American men first marched in Native American dress through the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day. The tradition, which includes a host of songs shared among the various tribes, has been kept alive for over a century and today is as vital as ever. Mardi Gras Indians have influenced the biggest names in New Orleans music: The Meters, Dr. John, the Marsalis family, the Neville Brothers, Trombone Shorty and others. The most prominent Mardi Gras Indian today is Monk Boudreaux, the Big Chief of the Golden Eagles tribe, and his grandson J’Wan Boudreaux (who holds the position of Spyboy in the tribe) is stepping up with Cha Wa to propel their culture forward.