By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – The streets that samba are set to be taken over by swinging beats from the other side of the equator this weekend with the start of the eighth Bourbon Street Fest. From Friday 13th to Sunday 22nd August, jazz and blues straight from their home town of New Orleans bursts onto the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Trombone Shorty will play Zozô on Thursday 19th August, photo by Nick Allen/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Two free open air events will take place at Parque Garota de Ipanema on Avenida Francisco Behring in Arpoador on the afternoon of Sunday 15th and in the evening of Monday 16th, a show by rising New Orleans musician Trombone Shorty hits Zozô bar on Avenida Pasteur in Urca.

Named after New Orleans’ home of music, Bourbon Street Fest brings a rich blend of Louisiana sounds like jazz, blues, soul, funk and R&B to Brazil. Just as Rio’s contribution to the world’s musical table can’t be denied, similarly New Orleans is a renowned hotpot of creativity and significance in musical history.

The mix of European, Latin American and African cultures, combined with being the only North American city to allow slaves to publicly perform their music, led to the birth of jazz there in the late Nineteenth Century.

The importance of the development of what is now termed ‘traditional jazz’ or ‘Dixieland’ for the course of Western music cannot be underestimated and it is a style which continues to be hugely popular all over the world.

Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, photo by HeroicLife/Flickr Creative Commons License.

A big part of New Orleans’ jazz culture to be brought to Rio over the weekend is the brass band, a tradition driven in the past by legends such as Louis Armstrong and King Oliver. At Bourbon Street Fest brass gets a contemporary twist with rising star Trombone Shorty.

24 year old ‘Shorty’s blend of funk, rock and jazz has already led to performances with such stars as Lenny Kravitz and Mos Def as well as a guest slot on U.S. staple The Late Show with David Letterman. He plays Zozô on Avenida Pasteur in Urca at 11.30PM on Thursday, August 19th, and tickets cost between R$35 and R$70.

Finally, one of a new generation of New Orleans divas, Tricia “Sista Teedy” Boutté is another one to watch heading to Rio. Previously the singer with award-winning reggae group Cool Riddims, Teedy has produced albums for Patti LeBelle and The Pointer Sisters and performed with artists as diverse as Marilyn Manson and Aretha Franklin. At Bourbon Street Fest she performs with her band The Bootleg Operation at 7PM on Monday August 16th at Parque Garota de Ipanema.

For the full program and ticket details visit


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