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New from the AMRF: Allen Toussaint the Soul of New Orleans




“Allen Toussaint: The Soul of New Orleans” is the eighth in the Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival series of public television programs produced by the American Music Research Foundation. Watch the first five minutes here.


Toussaint is one of the most important musical figures to emerge from New Orleans in our time and yet a relative unknown because his accolades have come for work behind the scenes. He was cited as “the chief architect of the New Orleans sound” when inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer in 1998. He received the Grammy Trustee award in 2009, given to "individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.”  This year he will be inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.


Because Toussaint performs so rarely, no one was quite sure what to expect when he played solo on a Steinway for us at Detroit’s Music Hall in 2008. But when he opened the show with “Java,” “Certain Girl,” “Mother-in-Law,” “Fortune Teller,” “Working in a Coal Mine,” and, “Get Out of My Life Woman,” the gasps from the audience were audible. “He wrote that too?”  Toussaint wasn’t sure what to expect from the audience either, and he was obviously delighted by the reception. The result was a relaxed, joyful, and exquisitely intimate performance.


During the on-camera interview earlier that day Toussaint had been wonderfully eloquent and expressive about growing up in New Orleans and the city’s musical heritage. The documentary we have built from this interview and performance is quite extraordinary, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.


If you like what you see in the first five minutes, please share the video with friends, and let your public television station know that you want them to broadcast “Allen Toussaint: The Soul of New Orleans.


DVDs are available at our online store or by calling 866-270-5141.




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