Istanbul is unique. It is the only city in the world where two continents meet. Enjoy old and new in the cultural capital of Turkey with Istanbul expert Marc Guillet

Mardi Gras in my Kadıköy

Posted on 4 July 2011

Photo: Slawomira Kozieniec

I couldn’t see them in the first three performances they gave in Istanbul since the Jazz Festival started last Friday. Therefore I was very happy to see them here in my own Kadıköy. The Original Pinettes Brass Band, an all-women’s group from my favorite city in the U.S., New Orleans, that I visited many times before and after the deadly hurricane Katrina.

I will always love New Orleans. Why? This is the city of Louis Armstrong, the city where jazz was born. The city of all kinds of live music and of great cuisine and laid back life style. I love all of it!

Photo: Slawomira Kozieniec

So finally the Pinettes ladies came to the Asian side of Istanbul. Their street concert started at 6:00 pm on Kadıköy Square, next to the piers where the ferries arrive from and depart to the European side of the city.

The Original Pinettes Brass Band, led by Snare drummer Christie Jordain, played their funky, swinging and modern style brass music.

The Turkish passers-by were pleasantly surprised by the American music. They were following them as they were walking – while playing – to the square with the huge Turkish flag. People were enthusiastic. Some were dancing and many bought the band’s new CD. Several of my favorite songs are: ‘Who You Gonna Call…The Pinettes’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’.

Among the Pinettes. Photo: Slawomira Kozieniec

The band was established in 1991and released their debut album entitled ‘Who You Gonna Call?’ in 2002. The band’s aim is ‘to show everyone that music is definitely a universal language!’

For the street concerts here in Istanbul Christie Jourdain took six other members of the band. Janine “Tuba Shorty” Waters – Tuba. Casandra French – Bass Drum. Dionne Harrison – Trombone. Careese McGee – Trumpet. Natasha “Saxy Lady” Harris – Saxophone. Veronique Dorsey – Trumpet.

Each member was born and raised in New Orleans. The Pinettes Brass Band can be seen at many different venues, such as: The Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Satchmo Festival, The Krewe of Muses parade (an all female parade in New Orleans, Louisiana), and The French Quarter Festival, just to name a few.  The ladies also have a long resume around the town for doing parties, wedding, conventions, schools, nursing house, etc….

Some of the ladies specialize in other careers, also.  From school teacher to computer tech, the ladies are mothers and wives.  Nothing will get in the way of these ladies who consider one another sisters.

Photo: Slawomira Kozieniec

Knocked down many times, the band remains standing tall and faithful.  “Not even Hurricane Katrina (2005) could stop us from doing what we love”, said Janine Waters of the band. “The band members were misplaced after the storm hit.  We were in six different cities, not knowing if everyone (and their families) made it out safely.  But we are back like you never heard us before!  The Pinettes Brass Band is here to stay!”

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One response to “Mardi Gras in my Kadıköy”

  1. Wendy Serter says:

    Was indeed very nice! We took the kids too and they both enjoyed it. Only pity was that the voices were hardly hearable…. Great music!

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