Philly’s First Kanaval Ball to Bring Haitian Rhythms and Music of New Orleans to City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia’s first Kanaval Ball celebrating the grandeur and good times of Haitian Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras will make its debut at The Fillmore Philadelphia on Sunday, March 20. Rescheduled from January 9, the event will feature performances by world renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the prominent Haitian bands RAM and Boukman Eksperyans, and the energetic Haitian folkloric dance company Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm



Produced by Philadelphia public radio station WXPN, the Kanaval Ball caps the station’s yearlong exploration of Haiti’s influence on the music and culture of New Orleans, Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans.


To complete the carnival atmosphere, the event will come with Haitian food, drink, and decor. Some of Philadelphia’s most acclaimed chefs, including Sylvan Senat, executive chef of The Pyramid Club, will be serving up authentic Haitian cuisine. The Mardi Gras-meets-Carnival decor will come courtesy of Philly event company Flygirrl. Attendees are encouraged (but not required) to get in party mode by wearing costumes.



“We can’t wait to bring the joy and celebratory spirit of Haitian Carnival and Mardi Gras to Philadelphia with performances from amazing musicians from both Haiti and New Orleans,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay. “Attendees will experience the mission of our Kanaval project: to illuminate Haiti’s continuing impact on New Orleans music and culture.” 


Major support for WXPN’s Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional funding from the Wyncote Foundation. The Kanaval audio documentary was also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Doors will open at 4 PM ET on Sunday, March 20 for the all-ages Kanaval Ball, which is free with advance registration here. The Fillmore Philadelphia’s safety guidelines can be found here. For more information, click on the links below.


Kanaval Ball







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