In the city of New Orleans, there is always room for one more parade. And when the preeminent music hall in the Crescent City joins forces with one of the hottest rock bands in North America to create one, let’s just call that lagniappe and consider ourselves lucky indeed! Married rockers (and culture-centric Uptown residents) Regine Chassagne and Win Butler, co-founders of the alt-rock group Arcade Fire, have teamed up with another famous local couple - Preservation Hall’s Ben and Jeanette Jaffe, to unveil a brand-new foot procession inspired by Chassagne’s Haitian heritage. The inaugural Krewe du Kanaval will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. and make its way from Preservation Hall to Armstrong Park. Interested in parading in this celebratory, cultural event alongside two awesome rock stars? Krewe memberships range in price from $1,000 to $5,000, with proceeds benefitting the Preservation Hall Foundation and KANPE, a Haitian non-profit co-founded by Chassagne. Visit kanaval.org for more information.
Chassagne laid-out the inspiration for the Krewe of Kanaval: “Growing up in a Haitian family in French-speaking Montreal, the Creole culture within New Orleans was not lost on me. Preservation Hall has been a family to us and so we invited them to join us in Haiti to see KANPE’s work there. There is such a deep historical, cultural and spiritual link between New Orleans and Haiti…we decided to unite and start a krewe that would benefit underserved people in both places.” Chassagne and Butler are no strangers to parading in New Orleans or their new partners. In January of 2016, they collaborated with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a traditional second line commemorating the late, great rock icon David Bowie. Arcade Fire also produced a spellbinding music video for their song “Electric Blue,” which celebrated the aftermath of last year’s Muses parade, highlighting the integral act of street-cleaning. The song was featured on their fifth album “Everything Now,” which reached #1 on the Billboard 200.