The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band: Possibly one of the most relevant and genuine New Orleans bands today, the Swamp Donkeys specialize in “Traditional Jass,” also known as Hot Jazz and Early Jazz. The band’s focus on early greats like King Oliver and Louis Armstrong has created a raving, global following, but it was the Jass-adaptation of the theme song from Game of Thrones that resulted in a viral video. Truly, this band spans more than a century, and while they are very often called upon for their utterly authentic approach to the traditional, they’re called upon equally as often for their brass band and progressive adaptations.

Together with bandleader James Williams, the band has performed multiple times at New Orleans Jazz Fest, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, and many other great festivals. They’ve also opened for Sting, Simple Minds, Johnny Hallyday, Joe Louis Walker, Rebirth Brass Band, and many others. The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band perform on domestic and international stages alike by combining their deep respect for the forms and sounds of the era with modern sensibilities and ideas. This is Early Jazz, the 1900s to 1920s hot style that started out as Jass.

“This was jazz as jass: the Donkeys carry a torch for the vintage New Orleans kind, and with a vengeance: in full flight they’re an exuberant and fairly unstoppable force.” The Scotsman“Recalls the New Orleans music of roughly a century ago, with youthful, high-spirited aplomb.” Nate Chinen/New York Times

“Young devotees whose balance of spunk and funk keeps the heart of traditional jazz beating.” The New Yorker

“One of the zingiest of the new hot jazz bands from the Crescent City.” The Wall Street Journal