TRIBECA — Fat Tuesday is a few days away, but many New Yorkers will be celebrating Mardi Gras this weekend. The holiday that precedes the Christian period of Lent is known for its excesses (like King Cake), which are far better enjoyed when there’s no work to get to the next morning.
DNAinfo New York rounded up a few of the notable celebrations happening in honor of Mardi Gras — in particular the ways to enjoy the traditions and music of New Orleans.
Friday, Feb. 28 — Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution at Fat Friday
This 12-piece self-described “gospel-soul-rock” band based in Williamsburg will perform at Fat Friday, an annual benefit started in 2006 to honor the rich culture and traditions of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Proceeds from the event — to take place at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side — will go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, The Roots of Music, a youth music education program, and Figment, a foundation for participatory arts. For ticketing information, click here.
Saturday, March 1 — The Funky Godmothers
Head out to Forest Hills, Queens, to celebrate the holiday with The Pachanga Bros.’ Movin’ Company, who are otherwise known as The Funky Godmothers, who will perform at The Other Place. For a $10 cover, gain entry into a dance party that goes from 9 p.m. on, complete with drinks specials and a New Orleans-themed buffet.
Sunday, March 2— C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band at Connolly’s
Zydeco is a musical genre that has its roots in Southwestern Louisiana, where French Creole musicians blended Cajun music, blues and R&B to create something thoroughly unique to the region — think buoyant accordions, washboards and a shuffling beat. One of Zydeco’s most renowned modern artists, C.J. Chenier, will bring his Red Hot Louisiana Band to Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant on 45th to celebrate Mardi Gras early. A free dancing lesson begins at 6 p.m. and for $25 you can stay for dinner, drinks and dancing until 11 p.m.
Monday, March 3 — Dinner at Louro
Those who want to honor Mardi Gras each day in the lead-up to the holiday can crash West Village restaurant Louro’s weekly Supper Club, lovingly named Nossa Mesa (our table). For $75 at 7 p.m. guests will be treated to a prix fixe meal that includes a number of Louisiana delicacies like Creole shrimp, Cajun catfish, crab and crawfish etouffee and bananas fosters beignets. Each dish will be paired with a cocktail, like the brandy milk punch — a vanilla-infused cognac blended with dark rum, milk and sugar.
Tuesday, March 4 — Mardi Gras Celebration at S.O.B.’s
S.O.B.’s will celebrate Brazilian Carnival on Saturday night — complete with Rio Dancers and the Rio All-Stars — but the main event occurs on Tuesday, with a performance from The Sugartone Brass Band — a Brooklyn-based 8-piece, which owes much of its sound to the influence of New Orleans jazz. Band leader Nathan Warner said Sugartone will play a few Mardi Gras standards, like “Feet Can’t Fail Me Now” and “Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” in addition to original material.
“There’s a human element that’s undeniably exciting when you hear it,” Warner said of brass band music. “That live sound has a humanity to it that you can’t deny. It’s so evident, especially when you’re in New Orleans in the street. Sonic joy is what it is, it’s wonderful.”