Named after the infamous South Louisiana swamp rat, Nutria performs original contemporary jazz music with an emphasis on collective improvisation. Our compositional and improvisational practice at once pushes at the boundaries of instrumental music in the 21st century and situates our music within the lineage of New Orleans jazz and groove traditions.
"Showing a clear strategic intelligence and inventiveness and a substantial depth of artistic resourcefulness" (No Depression magazine), Nutria has toured throughout the United States playing art centers, jazz clubs and dive bars. In 2017, they performed on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. In 2016, they were commissioned by the New Orleans-based Marigny Opera Ballet to compose "Wary Heat," a new ballet that was premiered in February 2017 and reprised in January 2018. In 2019, Nutria began a weekly residency at one of New Orleans’ top venues for creative jazz music, Bacchanal Fine Wine.
Nutria was formed in New Orleans in 2014 as a composition workshop for its members, who were active in different corners of the local music scene. Their sound reflects a diversity of influences yet a deep commitment to the jazz idiom.
The members of Nutria have performed with a wide array of leading talents in New Orleans and around the world, including Leyla McCalla, James Singleton, Johnny Vidocovich, Ed Petersen, Mahmoud Chouki, Sarah Quintana, the Revelers and local favorites Los Po-boy-citos. Nutria has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (NOLA), the New Orleans Jazz Museum, Twins Jazz Club (DC), Chris' Jazz Cafe (Philadelphia), the Jazz Gallery (Milwaukee), the Chatterbox Jazz Club (Indianapolis), and the California Clipper (Chicago).