[Dixielandjazz] Re: New Orleans Relief

LeslieMRag at aol.com LeslieMRag at aol.com
Sun Sep 4 13:07:16 PDT 2005

Chip Deffaa just sent out this e-mail and it's a good one regarding how to  
help the New Orleans musicians directly. I know that elsewhere there have been  
suggestions that those who love New Orleans jazz send contributions to be  
funneled through the American Federation of Jazz Societies. I know the intent is 
 good, but I am suggesting that if the jazz community really wants to help 
that  they donate money through existing foundations and organizations that 
already  have a structure in place where the money can be disbursed immediately 
and  effectively. I believe that the most important thing to do is get the money 
to  effective agencies, not necessarily to establish a jazz identity. That 
can come  later when the infrastructure is being rebuilt and we can make a 
difference in  terms of musical instruments, education, etc. (The Traditional Jazz 
Educators  Network comes to mind as a central disbursing organization in that 
case.) I do  like the idea of benefits and of jazz clubs and festivals 
collecting monies and  then directing it to either the resource Chip is suggesting or 
to the IAJE  Hurricane Relief Fund or to relief organizations like the 
Salvation Army,  the Red Cross, Catholic Charities and the like.
Leslie Johnson
_editor at mississippirag.com_ (mailto:editor at mississippirag.com)   OR
_lesliemrag at aol.com_ (mailto:lesliemrag at aol.com) 
Here's Chip's e-mail....
Hello from Chip Deffaa: Forgive the mass Email, but some friends from New  
Orleans have asked that I help spread the word, that if you would like to make a 
 contribution to help New Orleans musicians during this crisis, Preservation 
Hall  has now set up a fund.  You can mail a check of any size--even if you or 
 your family  can only spare a few bucks, that can buy a meal for someone  
 9081, Miramar Beach, FL 32550.  If you want to make a donation by credit  
card, go to the link below.  (If the link does not work, copy and paste it  into 
place, and go to the site.  You can make a secure dontion.)   Funds are 
distributed by Preservation Hall, which has been the heart of the  traditional 
jazz; it is just three blocks from the Mississippi River, in the  hard-hit French 
Quarter.    But the people who run it know all  the traditional jazz musicians 
and will get help to those they can.  Here  is the link.  
The suffering throughout the whole region hit by the hurricane is, of  
course, enormous.  And donating to any charity of your choice is  terrific. (We 
can't rely solely on the Federal government to do it all; the  Bush's 
Administration's response to this crisis is painfully embarrassing.)  But friends in the 
jazz community wanted me to help spread the word  that this fund has been 
started  specifically to help New orleans jazz  musicians.  And I think the 
musicianss have helped give New Orleans (my  favorite city in the US, outside of NYC) 
its soul, its unique character.   Right now, things are in such chaos, there 
is no way to get in touch with people  still within the city limits of New 
Orleans. We have to wait till they get  out of the city to herar from them...   I 
was happy to just get a  phone call from Ingrid Lucia (or more accurately, 
her husband, since Ingrid was  too upset to really talk right now), letting me 
know her family has survived,  although their house in New Orleans is now fully 
submerged.  No one  on her street evacuated before the storm hit; they'd been 
through storms  before and simply did not imagine this storm wuld be so much 
more  destructive.   Ingrid works all the time in New Oleans; in fact she  
serves as the "voice of New Orleans" in the TV commercial they were using up  
until this disaster to promote tourism.  I feel  very close to Ingrid  and her 
family; I gave  them their first newspaper coverage when she  and her siblings  
were  just talented teens (or younger), playing for  spare change, living on 
their home-made raft. Good souls.    I've  watched proudly as she's released 
successful albums, sung on film soundtracks,  etc.  Now she and her husband and 
their 4-year-old child must start all  over again, from scratch.  Their home 
is gone, the  gigs in New  orleans are all  gone for the foreseeable future.  
They have no way of  knowing which friends of theirs may even  be alive or dead 
in this  crisis. 
Singer Banu Gibson (whose home was likewise in New Orleans)  wrote in  an 
Email to the jazz community  from a public library that she is OK,  and may go to 
Ohio to stay with realatives: .  "Wow, I can't quite  comprehend all this.  
The only news we get is the same that you see on  TV.  The cell phones don't 
work because all the towers are down.  I  guess I will open up a borrowed guitar 
case and write homeless at the top and  sing for change!  Expect me at an 
intersection near you.  At least we  are all alive. Banu."
Louis Armstrong sang, "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans," and  I 
am missing the New orleans I loved, right now.  I think of all the  wonderful 
artists--from Louis Armstrong and King Oliver to Wynton Marsalis and  Harry 
Connick Jr. (who've already donated their talents to the relief efforts,  God 
Bless 'em both), to Vernel Bagneris and Orange kellin and Lars Edegran, and  
Gegg Stafford and Wendel Brunious, and Lucien Barbarin, who've continued to keep 
 vital New Orleans' unique heritage.  Anyway, for my friends in the jazz  
ciommunity who've asked if there a way to help jazz musicians in New Orleans,  
consider the fund.
The Jaffes, who founded Preservation Hall, have helped keep New Orleans one  
of the great places for jazz. (And what a small world it is--their first  
cousin, Joan Jaff, has been playing Nellie cohan in my George M. cohan  show.)   
We can give something back to the musicians, via this  fund.....  I'll shgare 
more news, as I hear it.  If youb have any  news, feel free to pass it on. Jazz 
got its start in New orleans, and I  think all who appreciate jazz feel some 
connection withv that city,.    All best, CHIP DEFFAA, 973-684-3340

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