RIP Big Chief Bo Dollis (1944-2015)

The news is spreading that Big Chief Bo Dollis has died, at the age of 71.  From both a musical and cultural standpoint, the loss is a heavy burden to bear.  The Mardi Gras Indians culture remains notoriously difficult to explain to non-New Orleans, to those who haven’t seen it firsthand.  So if you’re “not from around these parts” and wondering what all the fuss is about, consider just the music from these two albums (The Wild Magnolias and They Call Us Wild, from 1974 and 1975, in collaboration with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and other New Orleans music legends) for a taste of what’s gone.  The Amazon links below provide previews.  Your next step on the road to understanding is a visit to NOLA to see this magical culture, which exists nowhere else, firsthand.

 

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RIP, Big Chief.  Here are some of our visual memories of Bo Dollis:

 

Big Chief Bo Dollis and members of his family perform at the 2013 Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA on May 5, 2013.  © HIGH ISO Music, LLC / Retna, Ltd. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Big Chief Bo Dollis and members of his family perform at the 2013 Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA on May 5, 2013. © HIGH ISO Music, LLC.

 

Big Chief Bo Dollis and Big Chief Monk Boudreax (Golden G. Richard III)

Big Chief Bo Dollis and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux at Tipitina’s (High ISO Music, LLC).

 

Mardi Gras Indians parade in New Orleans, LA on Super Sunday, the day after St. Joseph's Day. (Golden G. Richard III)

Mardi Gras Indians parade in New Orleans, LA on Super Sunday, the day after St. Joseph’s Day. (High ISO Music, LLC).

 

Big Chief Bo Dollis and members of his family perform at the 2013 Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA on May 5, 2013.  © HIGH ISO Music, LLC / Retna, Ltd. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Big Chief Bo Dollis and members of his family perform at the 2013 Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA on May 5, 2013. © HIGH ISO Music, LLC.

 

Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Tchoupitoulas at French Quarter Festival 2011. (Golden G. Richard III)

Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Tchoupitoulas at French Quarter Festival 2011. (High ISO Music, LLC).

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