Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hurricane Katrina Still Affecting Music in New Orleans

While Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that occurred in its aftermath occurred more than three and a half years ago, the effects are still being felt by many segments of the population in New Orleans. Some residents whose houses were completely destroyed by wind and water have established new lives in cities such as Houston, Nashville, and Memphis. If you drive down certain streets in the devastated Ward 9 area, you still will see condemned houses and debris. And, a city that long claimed one of the most vibrant communities of musicians and artists in the country is still working to reclaim the mantle of a top destination for the jazz and blues. Mardi Gras endures, to be sure, but some of the displaced musicians have yet to reunite or have been forced to find other occupations to make ends meet.
Musicians throughout the world banded together (no pun intended) to assist their fellow artists in the wake of the natural disaster. Organizations that were established to promote music education shared their time and money to rebuild music in schools and in local clubs. Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis worked together to create Musicians’ Village, a community of new homes that helped musicians stay in New Orleans instead of relocating to another city. Classical musicians opened up their symphony halls for donations to their jazz counterparts.

In my second novel, Finish Line, readers are introduced to a character who was an acclaimed musician in New Orleans, but forced to flee after the hurricane. Tyrone Munroe, who received the nickname Bowtye from the regulars at the Prairie Winds Golf Course, moved to St. Louis and found himself tending to the needs of players in the clubhouse in order to pay the bills. His musical talents are revealed, however, when some of the Prairie Winds regulars find themselves on a casino boat with Bowtye as the featured entertainment.

To learn more about Bowtye and the other memorable characters in Finish Line, please check out my new book. And, be sure to read Lifetime Loser and Tuey’s Course for more stories involving the Prairie Winds Golf Course.
Finish Line for the previous stories involving the Prairie Winds Golf Course.

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