New Orleans Musicians Continue To Be Heard From
And some have not. More about that further on. . .
I am still in semi-shock here and things have been hectic. My daughter, a Loyola student in New Orleans, thankfully evacuated the Saturday before Katrina hit; but she won't be going to school there for who knows how long. She found out Loyola Chicago is taking some of the New Orleans students, so we have been making arrangements to get her up there immediately. My wife's brother and his family lived in the Lakeview area of New Orleans; and her neice lives in Slidell. All are safe, but have lost their homes, possessions, cars, you name it. Lafayette currently has about 40,000 evacuees here. Our ususal population is 110,000, I think; so it's a huge influx. My friends in Biloxi got out safely and are waiting in Mississippi, where they still had no power due to the storm, for the chance to go back and see if they have anything left. Some freinds from New Orleans are safe in Florida and Memphis, etc. Others I have no word on.
Many stories coming from New Orleans are still horrific, although some are heartening. I saw a guy on a Baton Rouge TV station who has a shop in the Quarter and lives in a house in Uptown near Audubon Park. He just left Friday, because he said the smoke from all the fires was getting bad! He said the Quarter within about 5 or 6 blocks of the river is in good shape and not flooded, as it is high ground. And, he had been checking his place of business regularly and had seen no looting in the area. I can cofirm that from other TV news footage. There was even a bar open - but not serving! He also said Uptown is pretty dry, also with no looting that he knew of. This is a large residential area 3-5 (?) miles West of downtown where Tulane and Loyla are located. That's cheered me a little.
What does not cheer me is the fact that hurricane season still has two months to go! And September is the worst month usually. See this satellite image of the New Orelans area for a general flooding perspective. It shades too much of the Quarter, I think. Looks like the Garden Distric may be in fairly good condition, too. In fact, much along the river appears to dry out into Metairie. There are other such images around the web with even more detail.
Back to the musicians. Reaper from Funk Files let me know that Eddie Bo is safe and may be in Lafayette. The sites below all have forums or message boards with contact information, lists of musicians who are known to be safe and those unaccounted for.
Thanks again to Reaper for some of these:
WWOZ 'OZ is back webcasting from a remote location, too!
Rebirth Brass Band
New Orleans Musicians Union
New Orleans Bands
Also, I got this message via e-mail from Jake Carlin in Philadelphia, who is looking for information on Teddy Royal, who I have discussed here before. He writes,
i think you know my friend Teddy Royal. I am very concerned about his well being for i have not been able to get in touch with him since the disaster in LA. I you have been in touch with him please give him this message: "from all of us at the dawson st pub in Philly, you are in are prayers, as well as anyone close to you! Please call us , we are very concerned!
God bless! luv
Jake and friends!
I have sent Jake those links above. I have been getting a lot more traffic on the blog since the disaster, surely because people are searching for New Orleans information and just run across HOTG on the listings. That's fine. But, to any people seeking current information, note that this blog is not going to be your best resource. But I hope you will come back another time, if you'd like to get a glimpse into some of the forgotten music of the city.
Surveying my New Orleans music collection (wondering how I'd move it, if the next hurricane comes our way), I am left wondering if these are now the collected artifacts from a lost civilization. We all must do what we can, if we can, to help make sure that is not the case.