BTP shoots the Hot 8 – New Orleans, LA

Blue Throat’s William Sabourin and Christopher Porché West shot this video for the hot 8 brass band and Tru Thoughts records with images echoing the connections between New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band and the new pulse of this old city the band still calls home. The Hot 8 brass band has always been a group that speaks out when they see something wrong in their community – sometimes to tragic ends. But this has never diminished the bands intensity to fight for what is right. You can hear fiya in their sound on the street. And in and around the juke joints and clubs cross the world. Much of the footage of New Orleans was taken by Sabourin himself as he chose to stay to bare witness to the streets of his home during Katrina so the world could know and see the truth.

BTP has been working with the Hot 8 Brass Band for nearly ten years documenting Secondlines, interviews and live juke joint shows (we live in the same town) and so found ourselves well acquainted with their wants and style and visual story they wanted to share with the world. Much has been lost in post-Katrina New Orleans and in an attempt to get back to business as usual as quickly as possible, many people, neighborhoods, homes, have been forgotten in the name of progress. Throughout time it is those without a voice who get stepped on and much of the New Orleans of today confirms this truth in clear tones.

Hovering right round this, the 30th anniversary of the Specials’ hit, Ghost Town, the Hot 8 reached into their mojo bag and breathed out New Orleans brass band funk into this early 80’s punk anthem. Down here where we cry when they’re born and try to smile and dance when they pass – BLAM – The Hot 8 felt the ska beat’s a-tonal chords and dead on lyrics resonating as they look out and try to make sense everyday of what’s become of our home, this magical city since the catastrophe of the storm’s aftermath. They listened hard and heard the reflections of our “new” New Orleans against the Specials’ Ghost Town from an England 30 years before: economic unrest, social upheaval, burning white hot in a furnace of violent change.

For more on the Hot 8 Brass Band check out: Hot 8 – Flag Gang, Super Sunday Before the Storm

Hot 8’s latest album will be available soon through Tru Thoughts

New Orleans

“We Are Zulu” tells the 100 year history of the Zulu Social & Pleasure Club. Founded by a group of black laborers in 1909, Zulu has grown to be one of the most popular parading clubs on Mardi Gras Day. This feature documentary weaves interviews, archival footage and classic New Orleans music to tell the story of one of the city’s legendary carnival traditions.


Santiago de Cuba

The Parade of the Serpent is the closing act of Festival del Caribe – a week long festival of Caribbean nations. The festival happens during the day. And is the prologue of a week of “visitations,” by all six of the Cuban Conga groups; rivals warming up through drum band battle parades in each other’s barrio as a tune up for Santiago’s carnival in July.This track is the beginning of the Parade of the Serpent as the Caribbean groups have just lined up and are filled with excitement before they begin their march through the ancient city. For part 2 we follow Conga Los Hoyos for a historical recording which we will post soon.

New Orleans, LA 2006

The Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs have been cornerstones of New Orleans’ black community for over a century. They ensure the welfare of their members during hard times. On any given Sunday, one of theses clubs takes to the streets to parade.

The Garifuna are direct descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people.

For more information about Nine Times Social and Pleasure Club please see Nine Times’ book, Coming Out the Door for the Ninth Ward, or visit: www.neighborhoodstoryproject.org/ninetimes

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band playing on the eve of Katrina and then back out on the street right after the storm finding their sound rolling with some of the top Social Aide and Pleasure Clubs in the city. In this medley cut if you watch carefully you can see the late Dinerral Shavers working out his funky beat across the camera lens. This would be some of the last footage of him alive doing what he loved.