Home Uncategorized Concordia knows what it means to miss New Orleans

Concordia knows what it means to miss New Orleans

by Archives November 9, 2005

Before the devastation experienced by the people of New Orleans this past summer, the most common associations with the city were those of Mardi Gras, spicy food, and of course, the vibrant music scene. With its roots primarily in rhythm and blues, music and musicians have thrived in a city that welcomed their diversity of sound and expression for over a century. Pioneers such as Freddi Keppard, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet, to name just a few, have their roots in the warm city streets that became their platform to show the world a whole new cool. This long-standing tradition has carried on throughout the years, and a small group of Concordia music students are doing their part to help the music scene in New Orleans overcome the events which have recently befallen the city.

Upon returning for her final semester at Concordia as a jazz vocal student, Elisa Goldman wasted no time recruiting a group of individuals to put together a benefit concert for musicians affected by both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“After seeing what happened to New Orleans, anybody who considers themself a jazz fan must have felt affected by the loss. That’s why, as a jazz singer, I felt I had to do something to help.” With no budget, the primary resource became Concordia’s music department and its students.

Also studying jazz at Concordia, Jelani Corbie and James Lynn joined Elisa in her efforts to program, produce, and promote the show. All three will also be performing at the concert.

Two months may seem like plenty of time to arrange an event of this scale, but for first time organizers, the task was daunting and sometimes frustrating. The original dates requested for the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall were denied on the grounds that the faculty was holding their own benefit show the week before. Fortunately, with a later date and a promise that the fresh collection of talent featured would create a show different in both style and tone than that of the earlier benefit, the venue was soon confirmed.

A difficult decision then had to be made that would effect the possibility of receiving Canadian corporate donations: Should an American charity be the chosen benefactor? It was through Red Cross that the organizers became aware of their ideal recipients. All of the money raised will go to the New Orleans Musicians Fund created by the Music Maker Relief Foundation as a response to the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the lives of musicians in the Gulf region. Grants from this fund are being dispersed for basic living expenses and instrument replacement as well as assistance with relocation, booking gigs and passport replacement. As they are an American foundation, there is no tax write off for Canadian corporate donations. Because of this, the organizers are relying almost exclusively on ticket sales and the donations of a few generous individuals to raise funds.

As the night of the show approaches, the business involved in the organization becomes trivial, and the significance of experiencing good music at a live show remains the students’ primary concentration. The concert this Sunday will be showcasing seven of Concordia’s finest student bands and vocalists. The audience will be grooving to a range of sounds from straight azz , to jazz inspired forms such as funk, soul, reggae, and rock. Mixing it up a bit is an acapella tune with four singers including Jennie LaRiviere, who was recently awarded the prestigious Oscar Peterson scholarship Award.

This is a great chance to see the musical talent Concordia bases its good reputation on as they acknowledge their debt to the birthplace of the music represented in all of the night’s performances.

Tickets for this Sunday’s 8 p.m. concert cost $10 and are available online at: www.admission.com or by calling (514)970-1245.

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