Mardi Gras 2018 is just around the corner — falling on February 13th this year — which means that we’re only a few weeks away.

But just because ‘Fat Tuesday’ has long been synonymous with New Orleans doesn’t mean that the Crescent City gets to have all the fun. If you’re stuck celebrating festivities best left to The Big Easy in The Big Apple this year, we’ve got you covered.

Fat Tuesday with Gotham Kings

In an upcoming IVY Culture Night, we’re going to experience a one-of-a-kind take on Mardi Gras in what is — in the not-so-humble opinion of New Yorkers everywhere — the greatest city on earth.

We’re pleased to invite you to a special Jazz at Lincoln Center presentation of “Fat Tuesday with the Gotham Kings” for a night of Creole cuisine, tantalizing beverages, and incredible jazz performed by two of today’s most promising trumpeters. The center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola will be in full swing in celebration of Mardi Gras, and while we’ll miss New Orleans’ eclectic architecture and the raucous crowds along St. Charles Avenue, we’ll experience sweeping views of Central Park, located right below.

A dynamite duo formed by Alphonso Horne and Riley Mulherkar, the Gotham Kings “showcase the virtuosity of Louis Armstrong and the innovative genius of King Oliver.” A perennial favorite at Lincoln Center, the two trumpeters are sure to dazzle and delight with their swingin’ melodies and upbeat tempos. Don’t be surprised if you’re moved to dance. After all, it is Carnival season.

The New Orleans Tricentennial

New Orleanians know what it all means. But perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the deep history of this quirky city below sea level. Or maybe you’re wondering why all the Who Dats in your network are suddenly scrambling to get their hands on a king cake, a hollow, circular roll with tri-colored sugar and a plastic baby hidden inside. And beyond that, what does jazz have to do with it all?

The fact is, these traditions were all brewed in New Orleans — a complex port city that, since its inception 300 years ago, has been shaped by a host of resilient characters, a cross-section of often contradictory cultures from multiple continents, and challenges — both natural and manmade. Each ingredient in the melting pot — from the waves of settlers to the swamp creatures, the heavy rains, hurricanes and boiling heat, the slow rumble of the streetcar amidst the cars around the neutral ground, the neighborhoods and their distinct styles and histories — continues to influence the food, music, architecture, and people of the city today.

And since 2018 marks the New Orleans Tricentennial (1718-2018), festivities to honor this landmark are taking place all year. From the banks of the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, there’s simply nowhere else like it. But don’t just take our word for it: The New York Times just listed New Orleans as the #1 travel destination in 2018.

Of course, we couldn’t leave you without a nod to Satchmo himself, one of the most influential figures in New Orleans jazz and blues.

If you are interested in reading more about the complex cultural geography of the Crescent City, we recommend the following book: Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker.

For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to We would love to hear from you (and talk New Orleans, jazz, or learn where you’re getting your king cake this year).