Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Crescent City's Native Sons Give Back

A couple of prominent musicians with New Orleans ties have signed on to perform on a telethon tomorrow to help the victims of Katrina. Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. will join country star Tim McGraw on the "Concert for Hurricane Relief" at 7 p.m. central time tomorrow on NBC. Marsalis and Connick are two of the Big Easy's best-known living jazz musicians, and McGraw is a native of another part of Louisiana. Matt Lauer of the Today show will host, and donations will be taken for the American Red Cross hurricane relief effort (of course, you could always donate now online).

The re-birthplace of jazz? New Orleans has always been known as a great city for music, and it holds an important place in the history of jazz. In the wake of Katrina, one Dallas critic speculates that it may take a while for the scene to recover.

Oh, and if anyone has heard anything about the status of Preservation Hall, please report back in the comments. I've read that Pat O'Brien's next door sustained only slight damage, but Preservation Hall is a much smaller place that might have been more vulnerable.

UPDATE: I should have gone to Preservation Hall's site before posting this, but I'd had trouble reaching many New Orleans-based sites lately. Anyway, I have my answer: evidently they're OK; the site just says that they're (obviously) closed due to the hurricane. They've also set up a special relief fund for New Orleans musicians. I'm going to contribue to that and ask InstaPundit to add it to his list.

Lone Star hospitality: I'm very proud of the response of Texas and Texans during this crisis; the state has agreed to take in around 75,000 refugees from the stricken areas, including 25,000 right here in Dallas, as well as the former Superdome refugees who were taken to the Astrodome in Houston starting yesterday. SMU is hosting the Tulane football team for the foreseeable future, and many Texas colleges are accepting transfer students for the fall (one of whom has ended up in a couple of my classes, as a matter of fact).

The word Texas comes from the Native American word "Tejas," which means friends, and it's great to see these folks get a Texas-sized friendly welcome in their hour of need.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "They could tear the whole place to the ground and within a couple of weeks, you'd hear somebody walking around playing a trumpet. Thank God we have music. It's the one thing a hurricane can't blow away."--Jon Cleary, prominent New Orleans keyboardist, expressing some optimism that the music scene will rise again.

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