Musicians fear New Orleans jazz traditions will die

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By Russell McCulley
Tue Nov 22,10:19 AM ET

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Philip Frazier, who leads the New Orleans jazz group ReBirth Brass, was one of the lucky ones. His house and tuba survived Hurricane Katrina mostly intact.

But hundreds of his fellow musicians were not so fortunate. The floodwaters that swept through this city nearly three months ago destroyed not only homes but also the instruments local musicians use to make a living, and cast doubt on the future of New Orleans' vivid musical traditions.

"We were very blessed," Frazier said of ReBirth's revival after its members had relocated as far as Houston and Baltimore. "We were fortunate that we were able to regroup and go out and continue to make a living for ourselves."

Katrina scattered musicians across the country, and shuttered many clubs and concert venues. More critically, perhaps, it halted the convention and tourism industries that supplied much of the audience.

Like others who want to return to the once-vibrant city, And exiled musicians face obstacles including a lack of housing, schools and jobs. ... [MORE]

        


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