Donald Harrison and his wife were among thousands who slept on the ballroom floor of New Orleans’ Hyatt Regency Hotel while riding out Hurricane Katrina. In the terrible days that followed, the saxophonist found solace in the thought of playing with two of his musical heroes, Frank Morgan and Charles McPherson, at the Chicago Jazz Festival the following weekend.
“After we survived the hurricane, that was my dream-to get to Chicago,” Harrison says. “I felt if I could get there I would be OK; I’d get my life back. If I could do this first performance I’d be a happy man.”