Nation Beat's Carnival Caravan
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Nation Beat's Carnival Caravan

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World World




"Growing Stone (Nation Beat)"

"Drummer Scott Kettner and his carefully chosen crew offer a distinctive and pulsating mash-up that resides somewhere between Bahia carnival and New Orleans mardi gras.” - The Australian

"Cha Wa"

"Cha Wa are musicians that literally create a wall of sound. Part Mardi Gras Indians / part funk Machine” - WWOZ-FM / Ryan Casey

"Nation Beat"

“Comes off like a typical afternoon’s stroll through the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
The blend is often irresistible.” - Relix - Relix

""Growing Stone" Review"

At first thought, American and Brazilian roots music don't seem like natural companions. But Brazilian forro has more than a passing resemblance to American country, as well as Cajun and Zydeco (indeed, "Forro for Salu" could almost be a two-step). Listen more, and the natural melding takes on a lovely glow. This is the Brazil of the samba, but something rawer, more countrified, and written and performed by an American drummer who's spent plenty of time in Brazil, and a Brazilian singer, with a wide -- and very talented -- cast of musicians, including excellent guitarist Mark Marshall. This is the band's third outing, and the fusion of styles sounds better than ever. Even a track as relatively basic as "City Blues" takes on a more tropical hue. Throw some horns into the mix and it feels like music from somewhere south of Memphis. Band founder Scott Kettner is a powerful and inventive drummer who propels all the music here (and composes much of it). The result is something that can seem surprising at first, but which quickly wins over any open-minded listener. ~ Chris Nickson - All / Chris Nickson

"Growing Stone Review"

"After decades of Brazilian musicians cannibalizing foreign genres – from rock to reggae – and making them their own, Kettner and company return the imitative flattery and create a fresh, vibrant hybrid that plants a foot in two disparate cultures and still dances up a storm." -- Marty Lipp - / Marty Lipp

"Doing What Comes Nationally"

"Kettner anchors jumping, shifting, border-crossing rhythms that accommodate lead instruments ranging from guitar to fiddle to horns to mandolin to harmonica, and the melodies cover such likewise wide ground that the title track would fit right into Carnival time in Brazil or a Mardi Gras celebration in the French Quarter with equal ease." - World Music Central


Growing Stone (Barbes) 
Legends of the Preacher (Modiba)
Maracatuniversal (Modiba)

Live At The 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (MunckMix)

Baque do Brooklyn (Nation Beat Music)



Carnival Caravan is the journey of two distant musical cultures separated at birth. It is a tale of two cultures that were born into bondage and survived through a musical journey to freedom and self-expression.  The Mardi Gras Indian Tribes of New Orleans and the Maracatu Nations of northeastern Brazil have been marginalized throughout history, both threatened by hardship, poverty, social injustice, and racism. Common ground is readily found between these two cultures of storytellers, musicians, dancers, and artists. By documenting these musical journeys, Carnival Caravan reconnects these lost relatives in a modern day revival, incorporating Brazilian and New Orleans music, dance and art into a show that explores the cultural exchange between North and South America.

Most Americans associate Brazilian music with samba and bossa nova, and the music of New Orleans with jazz, overlooking the numerous regional rhythms and music styles which represent the indigenous cultures of both regions. Maracatu & Mardi Gras Indian music  are propulsive and dramatic, but also reveal colorful and ornate pageantry of African, Brazilian, and Native American cultures  that have been passed down for generations. Combining the roots of traditional Maracatu rhythms with the Mardi Gras Indian chants in a contemporary context, Carnival Caravan links Nation Beat with Cha Wa in a ground breaking collaboration. 

This collaboration was born in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day, 2012. Scott Kettner (Nation Beat) and Joe Gelini  (Cha Wa) met in front of Big Chief Monk Boudreauxs house awaiting the Golden Eagle Tribe. As Scott and Joe paraded together they began a musical dialogue. Although they were playing rhythms from different continents, their rhythmic conversation made it clear that there was a cultural and musical connection. Since meeting and performing together, both bands have created a successful partnership.  Scott's and Joe's  background, knowledge and understanding of these cultures create a rich musical landscape at the highest technical and artistic level.  Both the maracatu and Mardi Gras Indian music is heavily percussive.  The instrumentation for Carnival Caravan is drums, bass, guitar, Brazilian and New Orleans percussion and vocals.

For the past decade, Nation Beat has combined the Afro-Brazilian maracatu of Northeast Brazil with the music of New Orleans and Louisiana. Nation Beat artistic director/founder Scott Kettner, a graduate of The New School University (NYC) and a former Latin Jazz Ambassador, is at once following the path of such Brazilian luminaries as Lenine and Chico Science, and forging new trails with a distinct, contemporary interpretation of the traditional 19th century Pernambuco-born rhythm. Featuring Brazilian powerhouse vocalist Fabiana Masili and guitarist extraordinaire Mark Marshall, and rounded out by driving bass and thunderous maracatu drums, the band has graced stages big and small, including SOB's and Lincoln Center in NYC, MerleFest, Farm Aid, Festival Internationale de Louisianne, Grand Performances Los Angeles, Stern Grove San Francisco. Globalquerque! in New Mexico and scores more.  It is truly Carnival where and whenever they perform. Multiculturalism isnt another bland buzz word in the hands of Nation Beat.  Borrowing, mixing and adapting musical traditions is at the very heart of Music, and it is the creative and animated pulse of Nation Beat

Cha Wa features legendary Mardi Gras Indian singers Irving Honey Banister, and JWan Boudreaux on vocals, and Joe Gelini on drums joined by steel guitar, bass, keys and percussion.  Cha Wa merges the sounds of Mardi Gras Indians chanting on the streets of New Orleans with the meditative drone of early blues and NOLA funk. The bands name comes from the slang phrase used by Mardi Gras Indian gangs in New Orleans. (If you have ever walked the legendary street corner of Second and Dryades on Mardi Gras Day, you may have heard the call of the spy boys confidently yelling Cha Wa meaning "we're coming for ya!").  In the two years they have been together the band has become a NOLA favorite performing on legendary stages in the crescent city including at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival .  

Band Members