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Tarpon Springs celebrates Mardi Gras
Article published on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
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Celebrate Mardi Gras in Tarpon Springs with New Orleans’ own Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band on Saturday, March 1.
TARPON SPRINGS - Celebrate Mardi Gras in Tarpon Springs with New Orleans’ own Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band on Saturday, March 1.

The celebration begins with a Saturday morning “Second Line” street parade from the Union Academy Community Center, 401 E. Martin Luther King Drive, to the Tarpon Springs Library, 138 East Lemon St.

This amazing tradition dates back to the 19th century and is descended from New Orleans’ famous jazz funerals. New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band has epitomized New Orleans street music for over a decade. The band plays these traditional Second Line parades, hosted each Sunday afternoon by Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, infusing their performances with the funk and energy that makes New Orleans music loved around the world.

Parade activities begin at 11 a.m. and are free and open to the public. Enjoy a light breakfast with the band and have your photo taken with them. Children and adults can make masks and other parade finery with the Citizen’s Alliance for Progress at the Union Academy Center, 401 E. MLK Blvd.). Follow the band from the Center in the parade and march along. At the library, there will be more children’s crafts and games, and light refreshments

In the evening enjoy a taste of authentic Cajun food at 7 p.m. and the concert at 8 p.m. Hot 8 Brass Band performs at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St. Tickets are $30, $28 for members and students). Call 727-942-5605, or purchase online

The members of the Hot 8 Brass Band were born and raised in New Orleans and many began playing together in high school. What makes the Hot 8 so special are the sounds they coax from their well-loved, well-worn instruments.

An evening with the Hot 8 is like no other... The band was recently named 2014 Grammy Nominees, and have toured in Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Finland, England and Sardinia. Hot 8 performs annually at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and at world and jazz festivals across the U.S. and Europe. Members of the band have been featured in both Spike Lee documentaries, When the Levees Broke and If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.

The band was also featured in the second season of the HBO series, Tremé. They appeared at The Apollo with Dr. John, Lou Reed, Nicolas Payton and others for the annual Great Day in Harlem. The Hot 8 has released three critically acclaimed recordings and is featured on the latest Blind Boys of Alabama recording on Time-Life Records. The Hot 8 Brass Band has been part of an important relief project following Hurricane Katrina. SAVE OUR BRASS! is a local grass-roots project that has brought music and instruments to shelters, temporary trailer parks, and communities across the Gulf Coast.

Mardi Gras activities are sponsored by the city of Tarpon Springs’ TarponArts Program, the Tarpon Springs Library, and the Citizens Alliance for Progress Center, and a grant to the TarponArts program from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Article published on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
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