Named after the infamous South Louisiana swamp rat, Nutria performs genre-bending contemporary jazz compositions with an emphasis on collective improvisation. Our music creatively explores jazz, chamber music, and traditional music of the African diaspora and Eastern Europe, as well as the avant-garde, while working within New Orleans jazz and groove traditions that are an essential part of our musical lineage.
"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.
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 Ed Petersen, the Revelers, Leyla McCalla, James Singleton, Mahmoud Chouki, Sarah Quintana, 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).