To celebrate the end of a busy summer of outdoor events in the Quad Cities, River Music Experience (RME), Downtown Rock Island and Bix Jazz Society are teaming up to present a NOLA Block Party from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, featuring nationally recognized New Orleans-based jazz band Tuba Skinny.
In addition to the brick-and-mortar bars and restaurants in Downtown Rock Island, Pee Wee’s Restaurant and Tacos Al Vapor will be serving food at the event. Gate and food vendors open at 6 p.m.; music starts at 7 p.m.
The event on the Great River Plaza (2nd Avenue pedestrian mall) is free and open to all ages. Donations will be accepted to raise funds for the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Hurricane Ida Disaster Fund. The event is sponsored by Illinois Casualty Company, Holiday Inn Rock Island, Rock Island Brewing Company (RIBCO), Daiquiri Factory and The Arena.
“It’s rare the Quad Cities has a chance to present a jazz band of this caliber, especially outside of the summer Bix Jazz Fest. It’s even more exciting to be able to present the show for free, thanks to all the sponsors,” RME executive director Tyson Danner said in a Thursday release. “Working with the Quad Cities Chamber through its partnership with the City of Rock Island and downtown businesses has made this possible. It’s a perfect example of the kind of great experiences we can create in the Quad Cities when we build partnerships and work together.”
“As we work to revitalize Downtown Rock Island, this is a prime opportunity to activate the Great River Plaza with world-class entertainment, draw people to hard-hit downtown businesses and celebrate the closing days of summer in the Quad Cities,” said Jack Cullen, the Chamber’s Downtown Rock Island Director. “I’m grateful to RME for their partnership and support as well as our downtown businesses for teaming up to make this happen.”
Formed in in 2009, Tuba Skinny has steadily evolved from a loose collection of street musicians into a solid ensemble dedicated to bringing the traditional New Orleans sound to audiences around the world. Drawing on a wide range of musical influences-from spirituals to Depression-era blues, from ragtime to traditional jazz-their sound evokes the rich musical heritage of their New Orleans home. The band has gained a loyal following through their distinctive sound, their commitment to reviving long-lost songs, and their barnstorming live performances.
The NOLA Block Party with Tuba Skinny will be 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. While admission is free, donations will be accepted at the gate to support the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Hurricane Ida Disaster Fund.
No outside food or beverages will be permitted, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs.