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Allen Toussaint The Soul of New Orleans on DPTV Saturday Jan. 21 9pm

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 Join DPTV's Fred Nahhat and the AMRF's John Penney for a special fundraising edition of “Allen Toussaint: The Soul of New Orleans” 9:00 - 10:30pm Saturday, January 21, on Detroit Public Television, WTVS Channel 56. 

Watch the first 5 minutes.

The program is the eighth in the Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival series produced by the American Music Research Foundation and the first to focus on an individual artist.

Toussaint is one of the most important musical figure 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. In 2009 he received the Grammy Trustee Award, given to "individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.” This year he was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Because Toussaint performed so rarely, no one was quite sure what to expect when he played solo on a Steinway 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 at Cliff Bell’s Toussaint had been eloquent and expressive about growing up in New Orleans and the city’s musical heritage. The documentary built from this interview and the performance is extraordinary, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

DVDs are available at the AMRF’s online store.

Listen to John Penney's "Jazzfest Detroit" Saturday's 7-9pm on 90.9  WRCJ FM Detroit, a joint service of Detroit Public Schools and Detroit Public Television



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