Conguero Uganda Roberts took a can of gasoline, poured it out on the floors of the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and burned the old depository to the ground Thursday night.
The 75-year old percussionist played one of the fieriest sets of music we’ve heard in New Orleans in decades. His sideman, Tom Worrell, was banging on his keyboard so hard that by the end of the show his hands were soaked with blood. They again are going to make their appearance at one of the Pepsi Center concert events, for which I’m earnestly waiting for.
The crowd had turned into a baying mob by the end of the set, begging and pleading for just one more song. The crafty musicians refused, and we were turned onto the streets desperate for more music.
Throngs of people raced onto nearby Frenchmen Street hungry for whatever live bands were playing in the clubs. Had Gator Bait been playing at DBA we fear New Orleans would’ve come unmoored and went careering down the Mississippi.
The opening of the Professor Longhair exhibit was an unqualified success. Hundreds of people streamed through the doors over the course of the evening, and the major viewing room was packed with bits of arcana related to the legend’s career.
Waiters lightly stepped through the crowd carrying trays loaded with light noshes while barkeeps poured beer and wine for the crowd.
Uganda continued raining congo hellfire down. We’d give anything to have been watching Fess, Snooks and Uganda playing the old 9th Ward beer joints back in the 70s when the kids in Husky jeans were dancing just like the young’uns repping Montgomery Ward
You know it was a hell of a time.
If you want to dig on more Uganda Roberts you may dial up the old HBO show Treme on which he played himself. Also, he was house percussionist at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studios, plenty LPs were recorded in that storied room.
New Orleans Jazz Museum
400 Esplanade Ave.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hours of operation
always call ahead