NOAHH spokesperson Harry Connick, Jr., appeared on CNN This Morning with Soledad O'Brien this morning, and spoke passionately about the Musicians' Village Project. Here is an excerpt from the transcript:
S. O'BRIEN: He's helped raise money for victims, but feels it's still not enough. Especially for the musicians who he calls the soul of New Orleans.
CONNICK: Keep in mind, these are guys that I played with since I was five years old. These are heroes to me. These are my Michael Jordans, my Muhammad Alis, coming up to me saying, Harry, what do we do?
S. O'BRIEN: Connick, along with another popular New Orleans jazz musician, Branford Marsalis, have been making plans along with Habitat for Humanity to build a musician's village, hundreds of homes for musicians with nowhere else to live.
CONNICK: If they don't come back, you know, this is a tradition that's been going on for a long time -- that's how I learned how to play, going and sitting in with these guys when I was a little boy. They don't talk; they just play. If nobody is around to do that, it's going to be a bad scene. So we have to get the people back.
S. O'BRIEN (on camera): Sort of no alternative.
CONNICK: Not to me.
S. O'BRIEN: Failure is not an option.
CONNICK: No, it really isn't.
And it's a very delicate sort of balance, cultural balance in New Orleans. And if you remove the musical equation, it's going to die.
S. O'BRIEN (voice-over): Now, he's giving Broadway audiences a touch of New Orleans jazz each night in the hit musical comedy "The Pajama Game."
(on camera): It struck me watching it last night how the music so fits the style of music you're famous for.
CONNICK: Well, it does in a sense. I love singing melodies and I like singing lyrics that you can play around with.
S. O'BRIEN (voice-over): The style certainly won over his audiences. He sold more than 20 million albums, won several Grammys and has scores of sold out concerts.
One event, though, that Connick will miss is this year's Mardi Gras, but he says he feels strongly it's an event and tradition that must go on.
CONNICK: You have to move on. You have to -- yes, you're bitter. Yes, you feel like you've been failed on some level, by some level of your government, but I say absolutely have Mardi Gras, and it's probably very painful for some people, and it must sound like I'm speaking on some pedestal, because I don't, you know, have my primary residence there. But I think you've got to have it and I think you got to start some time.
S. O'BRIEN: We want to show you, if you need to donate money and you want more information, and you know what they need the money, here's where you want to go www.habitat-nola.org. Please check it out, Habitat for Humanity of course building those homes for musicians.
Kudos to the Penn State Nittany Lions Women's Golf Team, which is holding a golf tournament to support NOAHH's rebuilding efforts. They have also pledged to send 25 coaches from the Athletic Department to New Orleans to help build the house after the money is raised. Talk about team-building! Hey, JoePa, over here!!
Funk jam band Electronik Church has announced a nationwide music tour for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians’ Village. Here is the press release:
Funk Band Pays Tribute, Raises Money for Musicians Village in New Orleans
Electronik Church starts New Orleans Habitat for Humanity National Tour
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Feb. 27, 2006) -- On December 6, 2005, the Musicians Village in New Orleans became part of the city’s reconstruction plans. Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis, honorary Habitat Co-Chairs of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans efforts respectively, were present at the announcement, as was Branford’s father Ellis. A focal point of the Village will be the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music with performance and classroom spaces.
Salt Lake City’s own, The Electronik Church, sponsored by Ellisbeetle International Arts and Education Foundation, is planning a nationwide music tour for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians’ Village. The Electronik Church intends to raise funds for NOAHH through ticket sales at musical performances throughout the country. 100% of Ticket sales from the designated performances will directly benefit the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and its rebuilding efforts. At the end of the tour, a check will be presented to NOAHH for the Musician’s Village in New Orleans.
“It is a real honor to be able to help preserve the musical history of this country and to help musicians in need," said Sam Cosby, Bassist/Bandleader with The Electronik Church. "The influence of New Orleans jazz and blues is strong in our music and so we are honored to use our music to give back to that great city."
For more information, as well as booking information, call 801.808.6394 or visit www.electronikchurch.com.
For more specific information on the Musicians’ Village, including details for musicians seeking housing, visit http://www.habitat-nola.org/projects/musicians_village.php
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is grateful to Electronik Church for putting together the nationwide tour and fundraiser to benefit the Musicians Village. Every penny raised will ensure the return of Communities in New Orleans and the rebirth of this great musical City.
The grammy award winning musicial group Take 6 recently joined with New Orleans native Aaron Neville and recorded the old Louis Armstrong song, "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans". "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" will be an exclusive digital download available from the Apple iTunes Music Store beginning March 1, 2006. Proceeds from the online sale of "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans", will be donated to NOAHH.
Chris Palmer of Take 6 said: "Maybe with this wonderful piece of music, we can raise a few dollars, but also bring some awareness to the great work that Habitat is doing for the people of New Orleans."
NOAHH thanks Chris, Take 6, and Aaron Neville for their support of our mission!
Well, I just finished the phone interview with KFOG radio station in San Francisco. I think I covered everything. I mentioned the devastation varying across our city, with the tourist areas being o.k., but the residential areas being hardest impacted. We talked about our mission and cost ($65,000) to build a home; what the homeowner gets (0% loan); that homeowners do have to be from this area, work in this area, etc.; that they contribute 350 "sweat equity" hours and volunteers work side-by-side with homeowner. We talked about our effort to build hundreds of homes this year. They specifically talked about the Musician's Village because they're coming down to help out with that. I plugged Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis. They mentioned their promotion on their website. I mentioned our website and they made a funny, "Well, if they go to OUR website, they'll win prizes." We all laughed and I thanked them and the city of San Francisco . . . and that was it. It went great. They, of course have uplifting voices and spirt; and I followed their lead. I'll have to check if it'll be linked on their website.
KFOG - San Francisco / San Jose has announced a promotion to benefit New Orleans Habitat during Mardi Gras weekend. Here is a copy of the press release
KFOG’s Spirit of New Orleans Weekend
Friday, February 24 – Tuesday, February 28, 2006
KFOG (104.5 San Francisco and 97.7 San Jose) will celebrate the Spirit of New Orleans during Mardi Gras Weekend, beginning Friday, February 24 through Fat Tuesday, February 28, by raising awareness and donations to help rebuild “The Big Easy.”
Over the KFOG Spirit of New Orleans Weekend, listeners will hear great N’awlins music running the gamut from Professor Longhair to Galactic, exclusive interviews, Fogfiles about New Orleans by News Director Peter Finch, and special editions of Dave Morey’s “10 at 10,” the Jam Show, KFOG’s World Music Hour and 5:01 Blues with great blues, rock, Zydeco, funk and jam band music to honor one of the most musical cities in the world.
KFOG will reward listeners who help rebuild New Orleans. Fogheads will be sent a free CD when they make a donation to the New Orleans Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Co-workers who make a group pledge can request a song during Annalisa’s noon feature “Pledge-O-Rama”, where requests from the top daily donations will air 12 noon-1pm each day on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.On Tuesday, February 28, from 1pm-4pm, KFOG will conduct an on-air auction for a trip for two to the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans this April from Putumayo Records.
KFOG.com will offer an exclusive podcast of "Our New Orleans," a CD benefiting Habitat for Humanity, featuring recently recorded songs by Allan Toussaint, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Randy Newman and others. Along with the music, the podcast features interviews with Allan Toussaint and Dr. John, who offer up-to-date news on the state and spirit of the New Orleans music scene. KFOG's Rosalie Howarth produced and hosts this KFOG podcast.
Special Fogfiles segments include interviews about the Marin Humane Society’s efforts to airlift abandoned dogs and cats out of the New Orleans floodwaters and to find homes for the ones who weren’t claimed by their owners; construction workers with San Francisco’s Habitat for Humanity who are on their way to work on the Musician’s Village; and interviews with local broadcasters Sydnie Kohara of KPIX and Ken Wayne of Fox 2, who just returned from New Orleans.
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is grateful to KFOG for putting together the promotion and fundraiser. Every penny raised will ensure the return of Communities in New Orleans and the rebirth of this great musical City.
The Toronto Star reports today on the Mardi Gras celebration, just around the corner. Many of our local musicians count on Mardi Gras for a good portion of their income.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction to the planned Habitat Musicians Village, which will revitalize the Upper 9th Ward neighborhood and bring artists and their families back to the City. This excerpt from the article tells of the hope that one musician sees in the Village:
The New Orleans of today — less than six months after Katrina hit Aug. 27, knocking out major levees and killing more than 1,000 residents — is very much "a tale of two cities," in the words of one tourism official.
"We have a city with outlying neighbourhoods with tremendous challenges that are going to take a lot of work. But we also have the city's historic core (the French Quarter) intact, open for business and thriving," says Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Thriving is clearly an exaggeration. Downtown sidewalks are still eerily quiet because most of the street musicians — like more than 350,000 evacuated residents — are homeless. Many are pinning their hopes on plans for a Habitat-style musicians' village in the hardest-hit 9th Ward, says jazz musician Hack Bartholomew, who returned to his battered home, and downtown street corner late last month.
Check out the entire article here: TheStar.com - The party's on ... as New Orleans rebuilds.
Canton, MS (Feb. 10, 2006) – The road toward recovery in New Orleans just got easier to travel, thanks to Nissan North America’s generous donation of 3 full-sized Titan trucks to New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH). The new trucks will replace some of the Habitat vehicles that were lost or destroyed to hurricanes Katrina and Rita and will provide another valuable tool in the rebuilding effort.
“Having lost 85% of our vehicles to flooding, we are grateful to Nissan for their generous donation," said Jim Pate, Executive Director for NOAHH. “Now that we have greater mobility, our construction crew and volunteers have a valuable tool in the fight to eliminate poverty housing.The truck donation is part of a larger gift to Habitat for Humanity International’s Operation Home Delivery program. Nissan is presenting 50 Titan trucks to Habitat and its affiliates in hurricane-affected areas. The retail value of the donation is more than $1 million.
“We recognize that it will take a long time and enormous efforts to rebuild along the Gulf Coast," said Dan Gaudette, senior vice president, North American Manufacturing and Quality Assurance, Nissan North America. “With these Titan trucks, Nissan will help that work proceed."
Since the hurricanes, Habitat’s Operation Home Delivery program has provided volunteers the opportunity to help frame several hundred homes intended for families impacted by the back-to-back hurricanes. Currently, more than 100 of the homes are under construction or completed with more getting under way each week.
About Nissan North America
We thank Nissan for their generous contribution!