The Sound
From their current hit single, “Buzzin’” (from Songs in the Key of Funk, Volume 1) to their signatures like “Big Ole Booty” (from 2010’s King of the Party), “Shake Yo Thang” (from 2006’s Take Me Back) and “Up In Here” (from 2008’s Peace, Love & Understanding), Big Sam’s Funky Nation is dedicated to the proposition of keeping the party going. “When you see us live or listen to our records, we’re all going to have a good time,” says Big Sam. “That’s what funk is all about. That’s what New Orleans is all about. That’s what Big Sam’s Funky Nation is all about. If you come to a show, you’re going to party. That’s what we’re here for.”

The Story
New Orleans trombonist-vocalist “Big Sam” Williams is one of those Crescent City characters for whom funk is a birthright. Fronting a funky crew consisting of Drew “Da Phessah” Baham on trumpet, Keenan McRae on guitar, Jerry “JBlakk” Henderson on bass and Alfred Jordan on drums, Big Sam’s Funky Nation will bring the funk in a big way in their Exit Zero Jazz Festival debut. The powerhouse funksters, currently touring in support of their sixth album Songs in the Key of Funk, Volume I, deliver an energized show that can best be described as ‘noladelic.’ “We’re going to keep the funk alive,” says Big Sam. “Funk is life for me. Funk is everything. We all need some of it in our lives, so guess who’s here to give it to you?”

A one-time member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Big Sam and his funky crew delivers a boisterous blend of funk, jazz, rock and hip-hop on the bandstand. And it comes naturally to the Crescent City native. “By playing on these streets of New Orleans, you learn how to work your craft and entertain an audience,” he says. “You can go to Julliard and Berklee all you want, but they won’t teach you how to rock a stage. It comes naturally in New Orleans. I’ve been rocking these streets my whole life.”

Lineups & Venues