Big Sam's Funky Nation at Bonnaroo
Over the past two weeks, Sam Williams brought his energy across town and played with countless talented musicians from around the world. Sam played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with Allen Toussaint, the Funky Nation, and as part of the ephemeral all-star brass ensemble, The Midnight Disturbers featuring Stanton Moore, Mark Mullins, Skerik, Ben Ellman and more.
As a band, Big Sam's Funky Nation shared jam-packed jazzfest night-time bills with Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Jamie McLean Band, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Miami's Suenalo and more.
In addition to his many sit-ins and the Funky Nation, Big Sam led two all-night jam sessions, dubbed the "Funky Butt Revisited," named in honor of his famed club on Rampart Street. Sam hosted an array of special guests including friends Nicholas Payton, Luther Dickinson, Jonny Lang, Brian Coogan, Calvin Turner, Jesse McBride, Maurice Brown, Nikki Glaspie, Kirk Joseph, Terence Higgins, Topaz, and more. Read more about the shows via NewOrleans.com here and here.
Big Sam Williams is an exemplary frontman, even NPR has taken note:"You can't thrive in New Orleans unless you put on a show. The dominant culture is showmanship: people who actually address the audience, people who sing and howl and shout, people who wear their passions on their sleeves. It's the Irvin Mayfields, the Big Sam Williamses, the Trombone Shorties. ... Whatever the case, New Orleans is not impressed by introverted, mopey-looking bearded dudes. Today's strong, silent jazz types could learn something from how wildly the energetic are embraced there." - Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR
Big Sam's Funky Nation Upcoming Festivals:
JAM CRUISE 2011 | Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival | Dunegrass Music Festival
Doheny Blues Festival | Essence Music Festival | Gathering of the Vibes