Big Sam’s Funky Nation hits Tipitina’s Friday, stranded Tulane students rejoice

Sam Ergina, Online Arcade Editor

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Thanksgiving in New Orleans can be a bit melancholy for students who are longing for a home-cooked feast and the comfort of their home. There’s always a silver lining, however and in the Big Easy’s case it’s Big Sam and his Funky Nation, coming to alleviate those blues.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation will perform at 9 p.m Tipitina’s Friday Nov. 27. Despite the group’s name, it’s funk elements are infused with other genres as well, including rock and roll, jazz and hip-hop.

New Orleans’ funk prevalence is a gift to all those who wished to live through the music of the 70’s and 80’s, whose style can only be properly identified as groovy. Big Sam and his band are at the helm of this continued groove in the Crescent City, with singles like “Funkey Donkey,” which hearkens back to old-school groups like Sly and the Family Stone and The Commodores, only with more aggressive brass roles typical of New Orleans jazz and funk.

Big Sam started out in the renowned Dirty Dozen Brass Band, where he spent much of his time touring and living the musician’s nomadic lifestyle. His eventual departure from the band was in order to create his own. Big Sam brought together musicians from around New Orleans to form his nation devoted to funk.

While Big Sam Williams dominates the trombone, the other parts of the supergroup include Andrew “Da Phessah” Baham on trumpet, Chocolate Milk on drums, Jerry “JBlakk” Henderson on bass and Joshua Connelly on guitar. Williams, Baham and Connellly provide vocals as well.

If your Thanksgiving break is going to be spent in New Orleans, it might as well be spent seeing something unique to the Crescent City. For $12 tickets in advance and $15 at the door, Big Sam’s Funky Nation’s hometown performance will be a wholly fun and authentic New Orleans experience.