The Guthrie Theater presents Interact Theater’s production of

Hot Funky Butt Jazz

created by the INTERACT ENSEMBLE 
directed by JEANNE CALVIT 
music and lyrics by AARON GABRIEL 
in collaboration with New Orleans’ musicians ZENA MOSES, JEREMY PHIPPS and EUGENE HARDING


A new musical

At the stroke of midnight in the heart of 1900s New Orleans, Union Sons Hall would transform into the Funky Butt — a dance joint named for the throng of sweaty, soulful bodies moving to a provocative new groove called “hot music.” Known today as Jazz, this sound revolution began with a black cornet player named Buddy Bolden who birthed an intoxicating brew of Afro/Caribbean, Latin, Native and European rhythms that became the essence of the Big Easy and set the Jazz Age in motion. Featuring an ensemble of more than 50 actors with and without disabilities, Hot Funky Butt Jazz tells the story of the creative and resilient personalities who stepped out of the shadows to defy racism and create an improvisational sound so unique, it changed music and culture forever.

Ticket prices

All tickets in the Dowling Studio are $9. Seating is general admission.

Content advisory 

This production contains haze, simulated gunshots, mature language, racial slurs and depictions of physical and sexual violence. 

Run time

Approximately 1 hour, 35 minutes (no intermission)


ASL, Audio Described and Open Captioned performances are available on select dates. 

Learn More about Accessibility

Interact Theater is dedicated to commissioning, developing and producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political and cultural issues of our time.

About Level Nine

A groundbreaking initiative

Through the Level Nine Series, we’ve devoted our ninth floor to access for all and the creation of theater that wrestles with urgent questions and inspires dialogue. 

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The Guthrie’s Level Nine Series is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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