Big Sam's Funky Nation Brings the Second Line to Tobacco Road's 98-Year Anniversary Party

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

In the undisputed birthplace of jazz, grand old New Orleans, there's a brass-band tradition called the "second line." On random Sundays, Mardi Gras, or certain other celebratory occasions, a group of people without a parade permit will gather to blow horns, twirl parasols, and strut through the streets of the French Quarter, Treme, or Mid-City. Why? Just for the hell of it.

Born and bred in the Big Easy, trombone player Big Sam Williams is a lifelong member of the second line.

He's an expert horn blower who's performed with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Elvis Costello, and Allen Toussaint. And even though he doesn't typically touch a parasol, Sam will still shuffle and sidestep between solos.

And beyond gigging for hire, Williams has led his own crew, Big Sam's Funky Nation, since 2001. It's a big band with only five parts: trombone, trumpet, guitar, bass, and drums. The groove is deep and the vibe is pure party. So when the Funky Nation rolls into town this Friday for Tobacco Road's 98th anniversary, expect fat riffs, scattered tailfeathers, and Big Sam shouting: "Shake it! Don't break it!"

Now go slip into that second line.

Big Sam's Funky Nation with the Heavy Pets, AfroKumbe, Jahfe, Tilt, and Jay Blue's Band as part of the Tobacco Road 98-Year Anniversary Party. Friday, November 19. Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 6 p.m. and tickets cost $10. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-374-1198 or visit tobacco-road.com.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.