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Octavia Books, 5p.m.
Carville introduces Packer’s book that details modern American democracy through the lives of several Americans
In collaboration with East Jeff Wellness Center, try your luck at the art of Chi
Once upon a midnight dreary, Who Dats pondered, weak and weary, of forgotten victory; nevermore, nevermore they moaned carrying their Saints to the winning end zone
Sweet Lorraine’s, 6p.m-Midnight
Fund raising event for the Historic Treme Collection with music by famed “Drummer Boy” Jordan Bankston and more
Bacchanal Monday Night Series
New Orleans cellist soothes those Monday blues with her Acadian croons
Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar
With James Andrews & Friends
Blue Nile, 9p.m.
Local rasta tributers spread one love for Nola
Banks St. Bar, 9p.m.
Come early for red beans & rice
Gasa Gasa, 9p.m.
Antique booty music with Sasha Masakowski
Native son sets d.b.a. on fire after the Saints game with his mighty trombone and nola funk
The Neutral Ground, 10p.m.
Sweet N’awlins blues and brass
Hit up the edge of the Quarters for some Monday night blues jammin’
Cafe Negril, 9:30
Monday’s never disappoint your dancin’ shoes for this one of a kind jamcase of local talent complete with live band
Circle Bar, 10p.m.
Broolyn’s preeminent Post-Wave ensemble + fiddle and guitar duo Local Honey
Broadway St, 9a.m.-1p.m.
Uptown edition of the city's prime local market
Traditional New Orleans brass music straight from Cool Uncle Lionel and Benny Jones
The Little Gem Saloon, 5p.m.
With songs like “Redneck Riviera” Roniger blends jazz, blues and folk sounds with a southern twang
The Maple Leaf, 10:30p.m.
The OG’s of the New Orleans brass band movement
Blue Nile Balcony Room, 10:30p.m.
Do you know where your ears are? Organized by Jeff Albert with various performances
Spotted Cat, 6.p.m.
Jazz singer with a vintage twist
Gasa Gasa, 9p.m.
Every Tuesday celebrate the contemporary music scene of Nola
Sweet Lorraine’s, 8:30p.m.
Open mic slam hosted by African-American Shakespear; open to singers, poets, musicians
Bullet’s Sports Bar, 7p.m.
See Kermit at home in the 7th Ward and get to bed early
Free monthly show featuring vaudeville and sideshow acts
The Country Club, 10a.m.
Half off pool admission for service industry employees; bring proof (bar card or check stub)!
Circle Bar, $20
Punk thrash London rockers, the Noise Complaints, play at 10p.m.
Sousaphone, washboard and guitar trio hit the stage prior to the Wolfman
Teeth pickin’ local guitarist appears on Frenchmen for his weekly show; $5 at the door
Garden District Book Shop, 6-7:30p.m.
Enter a world of strangers’ secrets as author discusses this collection from the award-winning PostSecret blog
Blue Nile, 11p.m.
Six horns and a whole lotta sweaty funk
Carrying the Torch
Flambeau Barers Shed Light on Early Mardi Gras Traditions
Between the colorful floats and raucous marching bands, a humbler – yet no less staid – Mardi Gras tradition slips between the cracks in the marching order. Keepers of the light are known to lead the way for those lost in the dark and that is a perfect way to describe a flambeau carrier.
They carry large, wooden poles with torches backed by stainless steel high above. In the original New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, the flambeau
were carried by slaves and free people of color alongside the floats. They
Though they had a utilitarian function, the addition of the flambeau also
had a social element: to incorporate blacks in what was considered a white
To many people, the tradition remains important, and helps keep the Mardi
Gras parades authentic. What many people fail to realize is that many
Flambeau carriers were never forced to be carriers. They were always paid.
Originally they were paid $1.50. After World War II, the price was raised
Eventually, the problems was resolved, and the flambeau were back alongside the floats. The pay is much higher these days and carriers can make up to $ 300 or $ 400 from the tips received from paradegoers.
“It was a hell of a lot of fun and I always made at least a $100. It was really tiring though,” said Matt ‘Slyfox’ J Thomas, a local New Orleans resident who happened upon being a flambeau carrier. “I never talked to anyone about being a carrier. It’s just something you find out about. I just went to the beginning of the parade route a few hours before the parade started and they gave me a number and a flambeau.”
Though Thomas never talked to anyone directly there are people out there who specifically recruit for flambeau carriers. Barry Donahue is a flambeau coordinator for three parades: Chaos, Proteus, and D’etat. Donahue has been a flambeau coordinator for the past 15-20 years and is very opinionated on how the carriers should act in the parades.
“New-line krewes have them dancing and twirling the flambeau, and that is the not the main idea. We want to show people what it was like in the 1800s,” states Donahue. “Old- line krewes have the carriers stand beside and light the floats like it was back in the 1800s.”
Old-line krewe refers to the original krewes of Mardi Gras, while new-line or super krewes refers to the newer krewes. Not all krewes have flambeaux but they are looking to add them. Most krewes own their flambeaux but a few rent from the other krewes. Proteus actually uses the original flambeaux in which the burners used are from streetlights.
Nowadays, the torches are kept lit by propane, as opposed to kerosene in times gone by. They also are a lot safer and do not drip like the old ones. The flambeaux have injured no carriers or tourist. It used to be the carriers wore white, hooded gowns gowns called Dominos to protect from the flame and catch the soot from the flambeau. Proteus and Chaos have some of their carriers where the domino in white, while Orpheus have their carriers wear red dominos.
Even though flambeau carriers started out as slaves and free people of color, it has become more of a mixed tradition. Today, 75 percent of the carriers had previous ancestors who were carriers, and continue the tradition. But anyone can become a carrier. Carriers vary from high school coaches, ROTC members, students, to the unemployed. Some carriers travel from all over the country just to have the honor of carrying a flambeau. People who do it enjoy it because they get to experience Mardi Gras in a different way and be part of something that has been going on for centuries.
And even with the parades less than three weeks away, the ranks of flambeau aren't even full yet for this year. Donahue said is still looking for carriers for the parades he manages. Anyone is welcome to meet at the corner of Camp and Julia for Proteus and Chaos around 3 pm and at Jefferson and Magazine at the same time for D’etat.
“We want tourists to see and remember where Mardi Gras comes from. One day we will get back to the traditional way of carrying flambeau,” Donahue said. However, one can say that not only tourists need to see and remember where Mardi Gras comes from. Seeing the parades pass by so many times, native New Orleanians could use a reminder as well.
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