I had the opportunity to spend the better part of a week in New Orleans toward the middle of May, 2005. Just a little more then ninety days later hurricane Katrina devastated the region and erased many of the sites and culture I enjoyed.
During this visit I had a chance to wander and really explore the city. I was quickly taken back by the beauty, the culture, the art, the architecture, the spirit, the food, the music and the overall tone of the city. The art and music in particular made an impression that I never want to forget. As anyone who has been there will tell you, this city has a cultural scene that rivals any seen before or since. That coupled with the ethereal almost timeless feel and Nola’s ability to suddenly erupt into harmony and instrumentation carved a notch somewhere inside me that was a welcome change.
New Orleans is one of the few cities I left feeling I could have called home had my life walked a different path. I’ve traveled quite a bit and New Orleans was one of only three cities that left me with that feeling of not just wanting to return, but honestly wanting to weave it into my life creatively.
In some small way, since that visit I’ve felt pulled to repay this culture for the joy it brought me during my time there. With that in mind, I invite you to visit and explore the Tipitina’s Foundation website (found on the web at tipitinasfoundation.org). This foundation is dedicated to restoring Louisiana’s irreplaceable music community and preserving the region’s unique musical culture.
Our government let down this part of the country in so many ways. Music may seem a small aspect of that rebuild but I would argue that music is the heart of New Orleans. If you rebuild the music, you will succeed in rebuilding the city. Without the music, you’ve simply rebuilt a city that’s missing its heart.