by the numbers

History and Songs of the Mardi Gras Indians


This interactive musical performance introduces students the history of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes of New Orleans. Students are engaged in sing-along and chants of traditional call and response patterns and phrases that are still significant in contemporary music, They learn of the duties of the Big Chief, Flag Boy and Spy Boy and the roles they play during their walk on Mardi Gras day and Saint Joseph’s Night while also experiencing opportunities to accompany the artist with music making while singing traditional songs, such as “Indian Red” and “Iko Iko”.


“LOVED Joseph & the History of Mardi Gras Indians!! He is a great talent! The kids really enjoyed it. Lots of opportunities to participate and watch friends on stage. Thanks so much!”=amy gray, owens elem

Drum and Strum

Through the use of voice, drum, banjo, and guitarist JAWAD and percussionist Joseph demonstrate two basic elements of music: rhythm and melody. The history and evolution of the drum and stringed instruments are discussed, along with their contributions to rhythm and melody. Students learn the true meanings of tone, pitch, rhythm, and melody as they become part of a collective, interactive performance piece.   

Let's Play Together

This uniquely inclusive performance is designed for audiences with both, children of special needs and typical children. Using storytelling and music making, the show works to promote acceptance, respect and teamwork among all children. Participants learn of the three main parts of a story (character, setting, and plot) while exploring the history and similarities and differences of the guitar and the djembe drum. The show engages the students in a lesson that covers two elements of music, (timbre and dynamics) and ends with audience members invited to join in the live music-making community drum circle using instruments from various cultures and all appear very different.  The challenge will be to use the unique strengths of each instrument to play a role in making drum circle music that sounds delightful to all.

drum and strum
lets play together

Outside The Box

A fun interactive performance where participants learn about the history of the Cajon, the Native American rainstick and Medicine Wheel. Participants learn and perform rhythms relative to the Cycles of Life such as, the water cycle, the seasons and life cycle of a river. A high energy performance designed to provide a great time interacting with friends, family and classmates in song and music making.


You are invited to view project photos and clips on Facebook at


Work samples and performance clips at


To schedule performances contact Young Audiences of Houston @ 713.520.9264 or Joseph Dixon by email at  or call (281)896.2914.



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