Legendary jazz trombonist and producer Delfeayo Marsalis lost his father to COVID-19 in April. He is determined not to let the pandemic continue to ravage New Orleans’ musicians.
It’s in that spirit that he will hold a fundraising virtual concert on Sunday, August 2. The “Double Nickel Birthday Bash,” which also marks Marsalis’s 55th birthday, will take place at 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. CST and will be streamed on the trombonist’s Facebook page. It will feature Marsalis and his 16-piece Uptown Jazz Orchestra and R&B vocalist Tonya Boyd Cannon.
Viewers can make donations, during the concert or at any point leading up to it, to Keep New Orleans Music Alive, a nonprofit initiative that Marsalis founded in memory of his father. Pianist Ellis Marsalis, an iconic musician and educator in New Orleans (and the patriarch of the Marsalises’ musical dynasty), passed away from complications of COVID-19 on April 1 at the age of 85.
Keep New Orleans Music Alive provides funding for emergency grants to support “New Orleans musicians and culture bearers.” 100 percent of donations made through the KNOMA website will go directly to those individuals. Donors may direct how their funds are to be used and may include a personal dedication in honor of a particular person or artist.
Artists who are either native-born New Orleanians or long-term performing residents in the city may apply for grants through the Keep New Orleans Music Alive website.