Wednesday, April 8, 2020 | 8:00 pm
The ‘Black Atlantic’ package — which provides access to all six ‘Black Atlantic’ shows at Motorco, including performances by Sona Jobarteh, David Virelles, Cha Wa, Etienne Charles, Cimarrón, and Orchestre Les Mangelepa — and single tickets, including $10 Duke student tickets, are now on sale. Packages and single tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 919-684-4444, and in person at the Duke University Box Office, Tuesday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
Experts trace the origin of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition to French and Spanish rule, when enslaved Africans gathered to let off steam while celebrating their heritage at Congo Square in New Orleans’ Tremé neighborhood. Processionals of the richly costumed Indian “tribes” are led by “spyboys,” or lookouts, along a parade route. Fittingly, the funked-up Mardi Gras Indian band Cha Wa named its 2018 GRAMMY-nominated album Spyboy in tribute to this essential custom. Praised by Offbeat Magazine as “spirited” and “freewheeling,” Cha Wa, led by vocalist J’Wan Boudreaux, combines second-line and brass band music into its own signature New Orleans sound. Taking its name from the Mardi Gras Indian rallying call, “here we come,” Cha Wa will enliven Durham with this Crescent City tradition.
“[Cha Wa] is a grand gumbo of singing, chanting, intoxicating rhythms, and some deep funk grooves that are simply impossible to resist.”