Updates

04/23/2007
KPF on NPR!

The nationally-syndicated radio show E-TOWN has honored KPF with an “e-chievement” award, presented to Klon on February 28, 2007 at a broadcast taping in the civic center in Fort Collins, Colorado. Klon shared the stage with David Wilcox and the Yonder Mountain String Band for an enthusiastic audience of 1200.

The show will be aired during the week of April 23 on stations throughout the country. Please visit www.etown.org for more information, or direct-click for the following details:

To find a station in your area: http://www.etown.org/findstation.php

To learn about the award: http://www.etown.org/awards.about.shtml

Read about Klon’s nomination: http://www.etown.org/awards.past.shtml

I am very grateful for the nomination and selection, and a wonderful trip to Colorado. Thanks to Producers Nick and Helen Forster, and especially e-town associate Cheryl Winston, for their hospitality and continuing support of the recovery of New Orleans.

11/15/2006
BRASS BAND BONANZA!

On November 9, 2006 the National Association of Realtors held its annual convention in New Orleans. The theme was REnew, REconnect, REenergize, and help REbuild the city. For the inauguration of NAR president-elect Ms. Pat Vredevoogd-Combs at the Hilton Grand Ballroom, KPF was enlisted to produce a segment to demonstrate her commitment to the cultural recovery of New Orleans, by selecting a musician to receive a new instrument on the inaugural stage.

One musician? One instrument? I outlined a broader and more inclusive plan, and wrote a script which the organizers approved and generously funded. Here’s an excerpt from the program that evening:

“To express the Association’s commitment to the resurrection of New Orleans culture, we enlisted the help of Katrina's Piano Fund, a non-profit group formed to replace instruments of all kinds lost in the flood. The Fund has designated TEN New Orleans musicians who represent a broad cross-section of the city's most energetic and engaging performers, the BRASS BANDS. We are proud to give new instruments to these musicians, to help them restore their livelihood, and the spirit of this unsinkable city.”

The musicians traveled home from cities as distant as DesMoines and met with us the day before to check out their new instruments, ordered from our KPF companion store C&M Music of Kenner, LA. The list included a cornet, two trumpets, two trombones, a tenor sax, an alto, a sousaphone, a bass drum, and a snare; $24,000 worth of top-shelf gear! After 14 months of largely “virtual” placements through Juan and Paz it was exciting for me to see and hear these instruments in person, and meet the recipients who had struggled for the last year to make ends meet. Their gratitude was espressed in many ways, some more workmanlike than emotional, but there was one conversation I’ll never forget:

Outside the Hilton ballroom alto saxophonist Darryl Adams was warming up his new horn when he asked me if I’d been backstage at a Preservation Hall Jazz Band show at Boston’s Symphony Hall a few weeks ago....

“Yes!” I said, remembering him. “And speaking of which, are you aware that Ben Jaffe (director of Preservation Hall) is in Washington right now, receiving a Presidential Arts and Humanities Medal in the Oval Office?”

“Yeah,” he said, “I was supposed to be there....”

“Oh MAN,” I replied. “I’m honored that you chose to be with us instead!”

He smiled warmly. “What’s President Bush doin’ for me? YOU’ve given me a new horn; I’ve been playing a borrowed one for 14 months!”

We embraced. In this hotel service corrider and throughout the city of New Orleans, the song remains the same. It is not the government or national relief agencies that are making the difference at Katrina’s ground zero. It is people like Kathie Feldpausch, Sue Gourley, and Pat Vredevoogd-Combs of the Realtors Association, and people like the supporters of Katrina’s Piano Fund, who close the gap between promises and  deliveries.

I remember the Soul Rebels, the first group we served in its entirety right after the flood. At the end of our mission it is heartwarming to serve yet another brass band, an allstar group, and know we are still making a difference.


List of recipients:

Gregory Davis, cornet. Lead The Dirty Dozen Brass Band for 22 years.
 
Kenneth Terry, trumpet. Plays with The NewBirth Brass Band.
 
Derrick Shezbie, trumpet. Plays with The Rebirth Brass Band.
 
Stafford Agee, trombone. Plays with The Rebirth Brass Band.
 
Reginald Stewart, trombone. Plays with The NewBirth Brass Band.
 
Darryl Adams, alto saxophone. Plays with Preservation Hall Band.
 
Mikiel Williams, tenor sax. Plays with Thunder Blues, and Jazz Griots.
 
Benny Pete, sousaphone. Leader of The Hot 8 Brass Band.
 
Terrence Andrews, bass drum. Plays with The Hot 8 Brass Band.

Kerry Hunter, snare drum. Plays with The NewBirth Brass Band.


See our Gallery for a picture!

Klon

10/14/2006
The End is Near....

Katrina’s Piano Fund will close its doors on December 1, 2006, allowing us 30 days to square up accounts, sunset the Corporation, and complete our final grantee and IRS reports. We will continue to accept monetary donations until that day, as there are still some instruments to buy and founder’s debt to repay. Any money which remains will be transferred to the New Orleans Musician Hurricane Relief Fund, administered by our friend Jordan Hirsch at Preservation Hall.

It is with great pride that we have served New Orleans musicians of all levels, professional, amateur, and student, helping their recovery from the incalculable losses inflicted by the storm, the flood, and the ineptitude of government. Through thousands of emails, tearful phone calls, and the well-worn pages of our notebooks we have lived and re-lived their stories over and over, and have tried to bring some hope into their lives. Before the flood, nearly all were living close to the edge of self-sufficiency, and nearly all were washed over it. For those of us on higher ground, it has been a humbling experience to share their journey, and inspiring to witness their determination to return home.

On a personal note I am grateful to you, our donors, for your generous support of this charity. From single to five-digit contributions, drumsticks to grand pianos, you have put tools into skilled hands that are actually saving the soul of a city. My heartfelt thanks to Deb Radway who managed all the acknowledgements, and to locals Juan LaBostrie and Michael Paz who lived through the flood yet did all the heavy lifting in purchasing and distribution. Most of all, I am grateful to our recipients, for the opportunity to repay them, in some small way, for my 30 years of blissful immersion in the culture of New Orleans.

All of us have an ongoing responsibility to keep the drive alive. More than anything, New Orleans needs advocates, voices that tell the truth about conditions in the city and the promises yet to be kept. It needs friendship from all of us, as visitors, diners, and revelers. Support New Orleans music when it comes to your home town, and keep an eye on NOLA.COM for important local news. And mark your calendars for JazzFest, April 27-May 6, 2007!

This website will remain active. Stay tuned for more Tales from the Piano Fund, and thanks for reading.....


Klon

08/08/2006
VERA AND VICTORIA

Our instruments occasionally find new hands which closely resemble those of the donors, adding relevance and resonance to the process. One of the pianos I brought to New Orleans in April has found such a home.

Bob and Vera Cooley are teachers at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. They have dedicated most of their adult lives to the education of children, and raised two of their own. As soon as their first-born expressed an interest in learning to play the piano, Vera bought her a Baldwin spinet and arranged for piano lessons. The next child began playing as well, but like so many thousands of kids swept up in this American life, they eventually lost interest in the instrument and it slipped into furniture duties in a crowded hallway.

The legacy letter that Vera sent with the piano expressed hope that the piano would end up with another child, and bring joy to a household that had been silenced by the flood.

On our Gallery page you can see the 41 pianos brought to Corpus Christy Grammar School. In chronological order, our piano applicants were invited to audition them and pick their favorite, and arrange for delivery to their homes as soon as renovations would allow. We’ve made no effort to influence the outcome of this process, allowing the recipients an unbridled choice.

Bob and Vera’s piano was chosen by a woman from Slidell, LA named Tina Hickman. She had helped her daughter Victoria fill out the application:

“I am four years and a half old and my home was broken in hurricane Katrina. I lost my piano. I heard about you from my piano teacher Mohea Smith. Thank you! I love to play the piano.”

We are comforted by the news that this instrument is bringing joy to another little girl, and that the healing power of music is alive in another home. Two thousand miles to the north of Slidell, in the foothills of the Berkshires, Vera Cooley got her wish too.

07/17/2006
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA graciously staged an "all New Orleans" music night to benefit KPF. A crowd of about 2500 enjoyed performances by Marcia Ball, Sonny Landreth, the Iguanas, and the Hot Tamale Brass Band, and the Fund raised nearly $3,000 in donations. I was granted a few minutes of stage time for the pitch, then surprised by a visit from KPF co-founder Juan LaBostrie, who had flown in to present me with a folk-art painting and honorary New Orleans citizenship! We were joined by associate Michael Paz, who had come to work with Klondike Sound for the weekend. Congrats to new papa Juan and bride Vicky on the birth of their daughter, Lola Rose.

Big thanks to Deb Radway and Sharon Levenson for their help with the collection effort, and especially to Jim Olsen, GRF booking agent, for a great night of support for the unsinkable city of New Orleans.

06/20/2006
DONATIONS CONTINUE!

I’m happy to report a large donation from a New Jersey musician who appeared at JazzFest, plus a surprising check from Martin Gerschwitz of ANIMALS and IRON BUTTERFLY fame. We continue to be heartened by support from other musicians who know the true value of New Orleans. Our good friend ani difranco continues to funnel money from her fans through the Righteous Babe store.

The city is continuing a tumultuous recovery. The body of yet another flood victim was discovered just this past weekend, and many neighborhoods remain deserted. Yet, sources report that the city has regained nearly half of its pre-Katrina population.

KPF musicians are finding more work outside the city than in. It seems as though our national concern for New Orleans is expressing itself in support for her culture; at the Crawfish Festival in Sussex County New Jersey two weeks ago, thousands of people came to celebrate her food and music despite steady rain and temps in the 50’s, weather which would’ve stopped any other event dead in its tracks.

KPF will be the beneficiary of the Friday night program at the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA in mid-July. We are hoping to raise additional funds to serve the final fifty musicians in our database. Many thanks to Marica Ball, Sonny Landreth, and the Iguanas for supporting our cause.

Juan reports that nearly half of our 41 donated pianos, delivered to the city in April by Maureen and me, have been adopted. Some were delivered directly from the Corpus Christy school cafeteria storage area, others have been taken to Peter Spring’s shop for repairs.

Our “Donate an Instrument” online database continues to grow. We are grateful to Peggy Currie for managing timely responses to these offerings. We are cautiously optimistic that another trucking deal can be arranged later this year to collect and deliver these instruments, as homes are ready and our inventory is depleted.

Keep New Orleans in your hearts....

Klon

05/13/2006
FATS DOMINO, and parting thoughts....

JazzFest is back in the box, leaving only memory flashes from camera cards, fading sunburns and muddy shoes. As a member of this production team I am among the proudest men on the planet, having helped bring this incredible showcase of culture back to life. We built it, and they came: a quarter-million people, each casting a box-office vote for the future of New Orleans. Campaign highlights from Springsteen, Toussaint, Simon, and Buffett, and a menu of 100 mouth-watering Creole, Cajun, and Caribbean foods, brought a landslide of satisfaction to all. For allowing me to contribute to this success, I extend my deepest admiration and gratitude to my associates and our indomitable producer, Quint Davis.

Sunday, May 7 was the last day of the Festival, and a day to end them all.... For over five hours people poured through the gates in a thick stream, filling all of our venues to capacity. A half-hour thunderstorm did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. Everyone was waiting for Fats Domino, scheduled to appear on our largest stage for the closing set.

Fats was given up for dead after the flood, missing for two weeks. Grafitti was painted on the front wall of his lower Ninth Ward home, “We’ll miss you, rest in peace.” Seated side-saddle on a rickety piano bench with that classic smile, his image adorns our 2006 commemorative poster. As the man who had led R&B into Rock ‘n Roll, bringing New Orleans to the popular music mainstream for a decade, Fats was the perfect choice to take the Festival’s final bow, and give the benediction for this remarkable resurrection of New Orleans culture.

Around 4:00pm we received news that Fats was not feeling well and was headed for the hospital. We were crushed. The grandest finalé, lost to poor health; waves of disappoinment rolling through our walkie talkies, our phones, our hearts; an audience deprived of shared elation and a great moment in music history. The announcement is final: Fats Domino won’t be playing....

I realized that in this news there’s a deeper message for all of us. The failing health of this man, still frail from the trauma of a flooded home, a destroyed neighborhood and lost friends, is a metaphor for the city itself. For ten full days the City of New Orleans had made a brave and spirited stand at JazzFest, but it is still in very poor health, suffering from a broken economy, shattered infrastructure, and hopelessly stalled recovery efforts. 
 
Fats managed to make it onstage at the end of the day. Unable to perform, he gave thanks for our love and understanding, and said goodbye. For those who love New Orleans, his debility is a stark reminder of the city’s open wounds, and the healing work ahead. It is a call to action for our quarter-million supporters, now spread to the far corners, to keep the spotlight on center stage, and help New Orleans regain its stature as a great and prosperous American city.

Klon

05/13/2006
THE BABY HAS A NEW HOME!

There's a photo in the gallery of a destroyed baby grand, captioned "The Daily Reminder." Its owner, Steve Burchaell, was our first applicant to request a piano, thus given first choice of our 41 pianos at the Corpus Christi School on April 21. We had just one baby grand, donated by Jennifer Wydra of South Orange, NJ. Steve had narrowed the field to two pianos, but after reading the "adoption letter" written by Jennifer, he realized that her instrument was destined for him. Her letter, and Steve's letter to the Fund following delivery, are posted below.  We are priviliged to be part of the process that fosters such deeply shared emotion for music.
 
Jennifer's letter:

Dear Fellow Keyboard Player,

It is my sincere hope that you spend many fruitful hours playing this 1924 McPhale piano.  She's been in my family for the last 25 years and I spent many, many hours with her, playing, composing, partying and occasionally pounding her into submission.  She's been a gracious and hospitable presence and is truly a beautiful addition to any place she resides.

Her hind leg is a tad bit weak, so be gentle with her and never roll her.  She must always be lifted.  She can be somewhat difficult to tune, so a competent and skilled tuner is a must.  She may need new pins someday, but not now.  She has had lots of work done over the years...new strings...new pads...she may need some tweaking of the damper pedals...just make sure the movers put them on correctlly.  They can be somewhat tricky I've been told.

Her best sound is with her lid wide open.  If you need quiet, keep her closed.  She has great action and a resonant sound.  You can play her vigorously without worrying about that third leg.  She can take it.  Just don't physically push her around.  i've pounded the heck out of her at times and she never disappoints.  I've had that leg reinforced, so don't worry about it.  Just be sure to be careful.

I hope she makes you happy and that you can bring her a new life.  While I am sad to part with her, there was no doubt in my mind that she should now belong to you.  I received her from an elderly lady living in Philadelphia and moved her to Cherry Hill, NJ, which is where I grew up.  She moved to Pittsburgh with me in 1999, and then in 2002 she moved with my husband and I to South Orange, NJ.  We had a son almost two years ago, and now, with a toddler in the house, we decided she must move on to larger and better pastures.

Please enjoy her and treat her well.  If you have any questions, you can call me anytime.  I would love to hear from you, but that is entirely up to you. 

Warmest Regards,

Jennifer Wydra


Steve's reply to the Fund:

Klondike,

Just wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to you and all the people in your group that made the realization of the baby grand piano a reality to my family. Not in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine getting a phone call to choose a piano. In fact I had given up the idea of ever having another baby grand with our many other priorities. It means so much to us, it is hard for me to describe.  Sitting at a piano has been a great joy all my life.

After speaking to Jennifer, the donor of the baby grand, I realize how much a sacrifice on your behalf and the many others that helped you to see the final results of the donated pianos. She told her story and yours in transporting the pianos across the country. What a big undertaking it must have been. You are most humble in your work.

I wish you the best of luck and will always be appreciative of your work at the Piano Fund. Hope all remains well with you.

Sincerely,

Steve Burtchaell

05/10/2006
JAZZFEST REVITALIZES NEW ORLEANS!

After a brisk three days of audio installations, the gates opened on Friday April 28 for the the 37th Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. During the next two weekends hundreds of thousands of fans joined this celebration of culture, bringing stimulus for the economy and  hope for the city. The national media kicked into high gear for two weeks, with sidebar stories about abandoned neighborhoods and the stalled rebuilding effort.

The KPF musicians were everywhere, most playing their new instruments. It was great to finally meet them, hear them play, and see the progress they have made in recovering their careers. Please see the GALLERY for many photos!

We were excited to have an opportunity to meet and greet Mayor Ardelle Brede from Rochester, MN, who marshalled a collection drive that brought 66 instruments to us last winter. All but a handful have been distributed by Kim Foreman at the AF of M Hall.

We are also happy to announce the donation of 200 drumheads from REMO, to be distributed by KPF's drum advisor and recipient Kevin Aucoin.

04/24/2006
KURT LAHGER'S LEGACY

We received notice on April 19 of a guitar to be donated by Gina Lahger of Carrollton, Texas. Her husband Kurt had passed away two weeks ago, and she wanted to give his instrument to a New Orleans musician who had suffered through Katrina, in the hopes that it would bring as much joy to the recipient as it had to her husband. In some way, Kurt's musical spirit would live on through the guitar, in the hands of a muscian who would truly appreciate it.

Perrin Isaac applied for help from us on December 9th. He had lost many instruments, among them a 1977 Les Paul guitar. He plays with Wes Raymond and the No Left Turn Band, and is a member of the Loyola University music faculty. He had also lost a replacement guitar, just received, when a clumsy ABC cameraman at the Howlin' Wolf/Extreme Makeover giveaway kicked it from his hands and smashed the headstock. ABC did not respond to many requests to redress this loss.

Kurt's guitar arrived on Friday at the AF of M Hall. Perrin opened the case and discovered a 1969 gold-top Les Paul, one of the most coveted instruments in rock 'n roll. With it was a letter from Gina, documenting Kurt's years of playing the blues in California and Texas, and his love for this instrument. Perrin was truly moved, and will cherish this guitar forever.

THANK YOU Gina, for your belief in the power of music, played by the musicians of post-Katrina New Orleans, to honor your husband.

Klon

(see photo in the Gallery)

04/22/2006
PIANOS ARRIVE!   

41 keyboards have arrived in New Orleans, donated by music lovers on the East Coast and from Minnesota and Iowa. The delivery trucks, donated by Penske Truck Leasing of Chicopee, MA and Schuster Trucking of LeMars Iowa, carried 12 and 29 instruments respectively, logging over 4000 miles combined.

The trucks were unloaded at the Corpus Christi Church school cafeteria (see previous update), by volunteers from Sheriff Gussman’s Community Service Program and the Bethesda Baptist Church. Reassembly and professional assessment was donated by piano technicians Sherman Bernard and Peter Springs. Minnesotan Maureen Fitzpatrick and I, collectors of the instruments, prepared legacy documents for each.

At noon on Friday, April 21, Katrina’s Piano Fund held a press conference at the cafeteria, to announce this pinnacle of our mission. With help from Placement Manager Michael Paz who appreared on WDSU-TV, and piano pounder David Torkanowski who promoted the event on WWOZ-FM, we reached out for piano players to join us there, and hopefully PLAY all the pianos at once!

We also called our piano applicants, many of whom had waited six months or more for this day, asking them to arrive an hour early and check out the instruments. Juan, Michael, Maureen, and I greeted them at the cafeteria doors. After knowing them only as ink on the page for so long, it was great to finally meet them. Six or seven managed to attend.

The longest and hardest chapter in our story came to an emotional end that afternoon, punctuated by laughing, crying, and the joyous dissonance of musicians wandering through our forest of wood and wire, playing bursts of chords and melodies as instruments were considered for adoption. For the first time since the flood, the cafeteria was filled with happiness. By sheer size and numbers, the pianos had brought hope; flood stories were told more in the past-tense, as the musicians turned their attention to the keys. We were witnessing a turning point in their lives, though the tragedy of the flood is still close; on the other side of the schoolyard a funeral was taking place in the Church.

Steve Burtchael and Claudia D’Aquin, our first two piano applicants, came to the event.  Steve’s ruined Steinway is pictured in our Gallery, a sobering shot of splinters and corrosion. He and Claudia kept trading places at two pianos, a gorgeous Mason and Hamlin upright from Minnesota and a McPhale baby grand (our only one) from New Jersey. As they passed each other they would compare notes on playability, condition, and sound. It had almost come down to a coin-toss when Steve opened the McPhale’s legacy letter. After the first sentence he was unable to continue reading it aloud, as it described “her” weak leg, her great sound, and the toddler that needed her space in the living room....In tears, he adopted her on the spot.

I spoke briefly about the challenges Maureen and I had faced in transporting the pianos, so fragile and heavy. Pianos without players are just furniture, and many had been retired to serve as picture stands. Each still had the soul of an instrument, only needing a piano player to bring it to life. And there is no better city than New Orleans for piano players, or for all kinds of music, and for people who love it. This is the mission of Katrina’s Piano Fund, to provide the tools to restore the soul of this city. 

After a few photos of people and pianos reuniting, we geared up for the grand finalé. Being on Church property, the choice of a tune to play was an easy one; with Loyola Music School’s Sandy Hinderlee directing, everyone found a keyboard and played “When the Saints Go Marching In,” in the traditional key of F.

We are forever indebted to the following people for enabling us to complete this portion of our mission:

Maureen Fitzpatrick
Father Raymond Bomberger/Corpus Christi Church
George Robel/Penske
Steve Schuster/Schuster Trucking
Ken Dohmen, Schuster Driver
Mary Kay Perrin, Piano Cosmetician
Charles Lawson, MN Publicity
Bethesda Baptist Church, labor
Sheriff Gussman’s CSP, labor
EMG Productions, logistics
Home Team Productions, logistics
Peter Spings/A Precision Piano Company
Sherman Bernard/Bernard Productions
Vicky LaBostrie, photography
Julius Evans/Pinnacle Tele Productions
WDSU-TV
WWOZ-FM
WWL-TV
Cash Edwards, Press Agent
The Northeast and Midwest piano loaders

All the very generous piano donors
...and all our very worthy piano recipients.


Sincerely,

Klon, Juan, and Michael

(see photos in the Gallery)

04/16/2006
EASTER IN NEW ORLEANS

It's Easter weekend. I just attended Sunday services at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, where Father Ray had helped me unload pianos the day before. He is a slight man, hunched by the weight of his duties for two congregations merged by the flood. It is a big church, with a grammar school on the other side its parking lot, which doubles as a playground.

The first floor of the school has been gutted. Father Ray gave us permission to use the empty cafeteria for piano storage. From the parish house he watched me struggle with the first four, then joined me for the next five! He is a gentle and personable man who is devoted to his flock, and meeting the challenge to find hope for them.

There have been many funerals here since the flood, but some weddings and baptisms too. About a third of the parishoners have returned, proportional to the repopulation of the city.  Corpus Christi is the city’s second largest black Catholic church, and the choir sings with enough strength to drown out their drummer!

The floodwaters filled the sanctuary, right up to the stained glass window sills. High-water marks are still visible on the columns and crumbling plaster walls. The pews were all destroyed; one remains in the schoolyard, its joints weakened, varnish peeling off. Three hundred metal folding chairs now fill the church, and it is standing-room only today. There are prayers offered for a good outcome to Tuesday’s mayoral election, for people who have turned to substance abuse by the stress of post-Katrina, and for protection from the hurricanes that will soon threaten the city again.

I’m encouraged to see kids in the crowd, noticeably absent in my visits to New Orleans in December and February. Though not enough, says Father Ray, to reopen the school in the Fall. The Church is insolvent, struggling to continue its mission. Many of the parishoners have moved away, returning just for holiday services on Christmas and Easter. The collection basket is full today, but twice a year is not enough, says Father Ray. It is also far from enough for outreach to this devastated community, which needs more help than it can muster on its own.

We are very grateful to Father Ray for the use of the school to prepare these pianos for their new homes. Understanding the importance of music to the liturgy and the conveyance of prayer, he knows the value of these instruments in restoring the soul of this city. If you would like to thank him, please write to:

Father Ray Bomberger, Pastor
Corpus Christi Catholic Church
2022 St. Bernard Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70116

04/02/2006
GALLERY  
Take a look at the stripe under our banner and note the addition of our photo gallery. Thanks to our pro-bono webmeister D'FO at Creative Constructs for this feature! When recipients send us their shots we'll post them here.

04/02/2006
FIRST PIANOS LOADED!  

A beautiful 50 year-old Wurlitzer spinet piano has been donated by Mike and Linda Whitbeck of Franklin, MA. Steve Gross and Diane Korinski have donated an equally fine Yamaha upright. Both are in Greenfield at the KSC warehouse,  wrapped and strapped, ready for Klon's Penske trip next week. Special thanks to John Gotthardt for muscle on the Franklin pickup, and to Macy Gotthardt for a flute, autoharp, and miscellaneous percussion and music books.

Donors along the east coast have been notified, and we are anxiously awaiting confirmations of pickup times. If you have an instrument to donate, NOW is the time to fill out the application on this website, so we can work out logistics. Remember, anything under 70 lbs can be sent via UPS to:

KATRINA'S PIANO FUND
American Federation of Musicians
2401 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

Attn: Kim Foreman, 504-947-1700

Please email klon@klondikesound.com once it has shipped!

Watch the UPDATES for news regarding the Penske Pianos

03/27/2006
PENSKE HELPS US OUT

Penske Truck Leasing of Chicopee, MA has just made available a 24' truck, for a one-way trip to New Orleans, free of charge! Klon will be leaving Massachusetts on Monday, April 10, making pre-arranged pickups of pianos and other items all the way down the East Coast, arriving in New Orleans on Saturday, April 14. The cargo will be delivered to the American Federation of Musicians Union Hall on Esplanade Ave, where office manager Kim Foreman will catalog it for our recipients. Special thanks to GEORGE ROBEL of Penske for authorizing this vehicle for KPF, and to all the donors along the way.

03/19/2006
HATS OFF TO HERMAN!
KPF would like to offer thanks to the great HERMAN ERNEST for his tireless endorsement of our mission. He has helped raise awareness, funds, and has arranged the extension of his endorsement at TAYE DRUMS for other drummers who have applied for new kits. Herman is the time machine driving the Dr. John band, and a busy session player. He has demonstrated true commitment to the recovery of New Orleans culture through his music, and through the empowerment of other musicians. Thanks Herman!

02/24/2006
JAZZFEST!

I’m proud to report that the artist roster for JazzFest is complete! Visit www.nojazzfest.com to see who’s playing. The list is as impressive as ever, and includes hometown hero FATS DOMINO, who was given up for dead after the flood. I'm also very happy that KPF's greatest supporter, the unsinkable ANI DIFRANCO, will perform as well.

It has been an intense five months at the JazzFest office, reworking the entire event from the ground up. The challenges continue for all departments, but the mission is clear and the willpower strong: build it and they will come! We are convinced that those who love this unique city and its culture will participate in its recovery by attending this event. What New Orleans needs now more than ever is PEOPLE, to help stabilize the cultural traditions threatened by the flood and its aftermath. All it takes is a muffleata, ice tea, the scent of magnolia blossoms, warm sun, and live music, and we are home again....

02/15/2006
FOLK ALLIANCE

KPF has just returned from a week in Austin, TX, fundraising at the Folk Alliance Conference. Over 2500 attendees passed by the booth, viewing slides of JazzFest, posters and sampler CD’s from Mark Samuels at Basin St. Records and Brad Paul from Rounder Records, both of whom had provided New Orleans compilation discs for our donors. Michael Paz helped me manage the booth, and we donated time to old pal ARLO GUTHRIE for the re-staging of the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS tour which capped the Conference. The concert included JACK NEILSON, JOHN FLYNN, RAMSEY MIDWOOD, the BURNS SISTERS, CYRIL NEVILLE, FOLK UKE, XAVIER, SARAH LEE GUTHRIE and JOHNNY IRION, and of course ARLO. It was a blast mixing this 3-1/2 hour circus!

Thanks to Bluefish Entertainment and Damon Lange for production hardware and support, and Michael for being the patchmeister!

02/08/2006
EDDIE LAMBERT

I am saddened by the passing of Eddie Lambert, Chief Electrician for many years at JazzFest. Among the causes of his death was despair over the destruction of his home on Verna Street, which borders the west end of the Festival grounds. His house lost its roof and took on lots of water, and thirty years of Festival memories were washed away.

More resourceful than McGiver, in the old days he would run extension cords over the fence to get power to a stage. He was a colorful advocate of safety, often producing blobs of melted cables to illustrate a failure to observe the Code. He supervised many hours of water removal from rain-soaked stages, and gave us confidence to continue production.

The Festival’s electrical depot is an old shack in the middle of the field, overflowing with old appliances that have provided continuous cold drinks and hot food for this department and others. This tradition continues in the capable hands of Royal Benetrix, Louis Broussard, and the rest of Mr. Eddie’s loyal krewe. I am very lucky to share a Festival office trailer with these men, and continue to learn, laugh, and dine with them.

Edward A. Lambert Sr. 1921-2006.

01/31/2006
MAX Parade Band at Mardi Gras

I'm happy to report that the Bay Shore High School Band of Bradenton, FL has just donated 60 uniforms to the MAX Band, which is the combined forces of students from  St. Mary's Academy, St. Augustine High School and  Xavier Preparatory School. The three campuses have merged at Xavier's Uptown campus, which weathered the storm with much less damage than its partnering schools. The MAX Band will participate at Carnival time in numerous parades, and KPF is happy to have helped outfit them. Thanks to band mom Marcia Wittman of Bradenton, Music Director Lester Wilson of MAX, and Nan Parati for sharp eyes in picking up this story!

01/27/2006
OUR NEW DISTRIBUTION PARTNER

I'm delighted to announce that the New Orleans office of the American Federation of Musicians Union has offered to receive and distribute donated instruments. Many of the instruments offered to us have been awaiting new homes for months as we've looked for the "perfect match," an elusive goal. The Union Hall has plenty of space, a staff which shares our mission, and good networking with the musicians who have returned to the city. These instruments will find their way into the hands of performers much more quickly, with their help.

The office manager, Kim Foreman, has also agreed to track donor and recipient data so that all credit due is given. Today I shipped two donated alto saxophones which had found their way to Massachusetts, one from Illinois and one from nearby Ashfield. Each case contained a "Legacy Document" which states the make and model, donor address, and our wishes for the adopting musician. If any of you have instruments to ship I will be happy to fill one out and fax it to you, so that it can be included in your shipment.

Another very important facet of the Union is their connection with local educators. This means that all of the "student" grade instruments will find homes with the next generation of New Orleans musicians.

The address is:

KATRINA'S PIANO FUND
American Federation of Musicians
2401 Esplanade Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70119

Attn: Kim Foreman, 504-319-2668.

I will be contacting everyone who fills out forms on our "Donate an Instrument" page to inform them of this preferred routing, but parcels addressed as above can be shipped directly without clearance from our office.

01/26/2006
NEW YORK CITY FUNDRAISER
Kay Ashley has announced a special event on the night following the Joni Mitchell Carnegie Hall Tribute:

 "NIGHT IN THE CITY:"An Evening of the Music of Joni Mitchell Benefiting the Musicians of New Orleans
Date:Thursday, February 2, 2006
Time:11:00pm.
Admission: FREE. Donations for KATRINA"S PIANO FUND will be requested.
Venue:
 Rockwood Music Hall
 196 Allen Street
 New York City
 212.477.4155
 
Via Underground: F train to 2nd Ave, exit at 1st Ave & Allen

Performers (subject to change):
Kay Ashley, Joy Askew, Denise Barbarita, Donna Binkley, Cari Cole,
Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, Jenny Goodspeed, David Lahm, Victoria
Lavington, Nikki O'Neill, Michael Paz, Lisa Roma, Aviv Roth, Ari Scott, Lynn
Skinner, Allison Tartalia, Bryan Thomas, Justin Tracy, Gary Zack.


See Jonimitchell.com for more info

01/09/2006
OUR FRIEND ANI
On April 6, 1995, I sat in a campus pub at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, following a sold-out show in their theater. Across from me was the headliner, a spiky little thing whose breakneck lyrics and a guitar sound that shook the seats loose had simply blown me away.... Drummer Andy had kept up well, and soundguy Goat had all the cliplights flickering. It was a show that broke new ground for the folk music that Klondike Sound was used to, and we began a steady climb that still continues to a higher plane. With hundreds of tour dates behind us, none of the magic has cooled; all who listen are warmed, and I am truly honored to have played a part in her expression.

Donations from Righteous Babe Store have poured in steadily, far outpacing all other independent sources.  As a part-time New Orleans resident, ani has felt the losses sustained by this fragile community first-hand, and we share her commitment to save it. For instruments needed for musicians like Robert E. Gibson the "one-string guitar man," to the Zion Harmonizers, RBR donations will continue to empower us to do this work. THANKS to all her fans and the fine folks at RBR Buffalo, and especially to the little spiky one herself....play on, play on.

01/07/2006
TUCSON LOVES NEW ORLEANS
Tucson has embraced the Fund more warmly than any city I've visited since the flood. Through the tireless marketing effort of Bonnie Brooks at the 17th Street Market, our concert with RICHIE HAVENS was sold-out and stellar. The Market shares space with Tucson Party Rentals and Tucson Food Service, which contributed an adjacent warehouse, catering, staging, and production services. Music for the pre-show reception was provided by a nifty 5-piece band including bass legend HARVEY BROOKS, solid as gibralter. They played on a little stage between the aisles of asian delicacies, in front of Harvey's new music shop, 17th Street Guitars. Anyone visiting this city needs to come here! From Madras curry powder to sheet music, taco chips to guitar picks, sushi slicing to fork-lift ballet, this is a unique shopping experience! Friday night concerts are proposed, in the polyphonic fashion of New Orleans' Rock 'n Bowl. Dancing with your shopping cart, simply amazing!

Bonnie sold out the show at premium prices, which showed me without doubt that the community centered around this marketplace really GETS IT. They appreciate what New Orleans gives to America's culture, and how important our work is to give back. I was presented a check for $5,000 (one of those big Ed McMahon ones!) , and Bonnie was stuffing more contributions in my pockets all night. Richie played long and well, and we drifted out a back warehouse door into deep southwest skies.

Our designated beneficiary for the Tucson concert is the great ALONZO BOWENS, a baritone sax player from the Fats Domino and Dr. John bands. Alonzo can blow a low "A" which could scare a train off its tracks, a sound which we are very proud to sustain!

Special thanks to Anne at KXCI who interviewed me, Frank who co-promoted, Tom who owns the joint but lets Bonnie run wild with it, Leslie who keeps the Havens team on the field, awesome accompanist Walter whose own CD is definitely house-cleaning music, Jessie whose couch overlooks the fishtank with two cats on top, Mark who keeps the dobros and sitars hanging on the right pegs, the incomparable Richie Havens, the inexhastible Bonnie, my new old friend Harvey, and the kind and generous folks of Tucson, Arizona.

17th Street Market, Guitar and World Music Store

12/30/2005
We are very proud to announce that KPF has received a generous grant from Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis' "Higher Ground" fundraiser in October on PBS. The award will enable us to serve another 50 musicians in the near future. The grant has also validated our track record as a charitable organization, and opens the door to contributions from other large funds. I am personally very grateful to Jazz at Lincoln Center's Derek Gordon, Jackie Harris, and of course Wynton for recognizing our efforts.  

12/30/2005
As of December 30, the following additional musicians have been served:

Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs         baritone sax
Dave McGough                        bass amp
Alvin Cahall                              microphones
Brian Lewis                               drums
Kermit Ruffins                           trumpet
Eric Johanson                          guitar
John Dearing                           bass guitar
Monica Dillon                           keyboard
Alan Leiberman                       drums
Elise Faucheux                        guitar and amp
Brian Pepiton                           guitar amp

12/17/2005
Tonight is the final concert of Arlo's "Christmas on the City of New Orleans" train tour, which has cruised the southbound tracks from Chicago for the last two weeks. Performers have included Cyril Neville, John Flynn, Jack Neilson, all the little Guthries (Abe, Sarah Lee, Cathy, and Annie), the Burns Sisters, Folk Uke, and tonight, Willie Nelson. We are concluding the tour at Tipitina's, a world famous New Orleans niteclub which for 28 years has featured the best of New Orleans music. Tip's also hosts a Foundation which has distributed instruments and aid to musicians  for the last five years, with a big increase since Katrina.

The city of New Orleans is in terrible condition. Only by visiting for a day or two can you begin to understand the losses this city has suffered.  Everywhere there are broken traffic signals, downed trees,  and dark abandoned neighborhoods. Thousands of homes are marked for demolition. The winds ripped many street signs down, and the ones that remain have spun so they mark the wrong streets. Most of the city looks like it got dragged into an alley and beat within an inch of its life. The situation is MUCH WORSE than you can learn from the media. It's no wonder that barely 20% of residents have returned. Nonetheless this 20% is alive and well, and working hard to restore their homes and their beloved city. Please continue to support the recovery effort in any way that you can, from personal to financial to congressional!

Kudos to long-time KSC associate Steve Schrems for great production management and mixing, and to New Orleans' Pyramid Audio for sound services. Thanks also to AMTRAK for getting everyone here safe and sound. And SPECIAL THANKS to ARLO GUTHRIE for doing this, just because he knew it needed to be done.

Peace,

Klon

12/07/2005
RICHIE HAVENS CONCERT IN TUCSON     
KPF is delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary of a concert by Richie Havens celebrating the opening of The Guitar and World Music Store, sponsored by Tucson Party Rentals on January 6, 2006. The event is organized by Bonnie Brooks and bass guru Harvey Brooks. Please click on the link in the list below to learn more about the event. Klon will be there to receive their generous contribution to the Fund.
 

12/06/2005
DEADLINE FOR INSTRUMENT REQUESTS

As of December 15, 2005 we will no longer be accepting requests for instruments. With nearly 200 applicants in line, we regret that we must close the door for now and work on the musicians already signed up. Our success will largely depend on additional funds; we are actively seeking grants from other relief organizations to continue our work, and benefit concerts are still being scheduled.

Juan, Tom, Michael and I would like to give our sincere thanks to all of you who have provided money and instruments to some of the best musicians in the world. As a cultural wellspring, New Orleans is one of the deepest in the nation, and your generosity has helped replenish it. Know that you have made this Christmas season a joyous one for many in the Crescent City.

Klon

12/06/2005
INSTRUMENTS PLACED BY KATRINA’S PIANO FUND AS OF DECEMBER 6, 2005

New Orleans Musician          Instrument Received

Steve    Allen                           keyboard
Hurley    Blanchard                drums
Detroit    Brooks                      banjo
Detroit    Brooks                      electric guitar
Detroit     Brooks                     roadcase
Mark    Brooks                         bass guitar
Anthony    Brown                    electric guitar
Anthony    Brown                    guitar amp
James    Burgoyne                 guitar amp
Norman    Caesar                  keyboard
Lars    Edegran                      acoustic guitar
Lars    Edegran                      roadcase
Damion    Francios                sousaphone
Derrick    Freeman                 drums
Tony    Gullage                       bass amp
Tony     Gullage                      bass cabinet
Walter    Harris                        drums
Tanio    Hingle                        percussion
Gerard    Ingram                     keyboard
Gerard    Ingram                     keyboard amp
Rahsanna    Ison                    keyboard
Marlon    Jordan                     trumpet
Jason    Klein                          drums
Darryl    Levine                       keyboard
Paul    Longstreth                   keyboard
Jim    Markway                        electric bass
Mike    Mayeux                        electric guitar
Brice    Miller                            percussion
Anders    Osborne                  electric guitar
Anders    Osborne                  guitar amp
Walter    Ramsey                    trombone
Alfred “Uganda”    Roberts    percussion
James    Roznack                   electric guitar
Dave     Rumsey                     guitar amp
Winston    Turner                    trombone
Raymond    Weber                 drums
Ken “Afro”    Williams             percussion
Leo    Williams                        guitar amp
Tannon    Williams                 trumpet
Gary    Wood                           sound system

11/21/2005
We're proud to announce our involvement with ARLO GUTHRIE's project to bring musical equipment and instruments to New Orleans aboard AMTRAK's City of New Orleans train! Concerts are planned from Chicago (December 5) to New Orleans (December 17) along the route, featuring all the Guthrie offspring and special guests. Klondike Sound associate STEVE SCHREMS has been hired as production manager and house mixer. Top New Orleans Jazz Fest sound company Pyramid Audio will provide hardware and trucking, supported by JEHU HOWARD on monitors and KPF's own MICHAEL PAZ on deck. I'd like to extend a special thanks to ROBERT JONES for first news of this adventure, and CASH EDWARDS for connections. KPF will be standing by to help with distribution as needed. Please visit Train to New Orleans for more information and scheduling updates.

11/21/2005

NOAHleans, Employment and Relocation Aid for Displaced New Orleans Musicians, sent an update regarding legendary percussionist Alfred "Uganda" Roberts, residing in Houston. NOAHleans Julie Grob helped arrange our purchase of congas for him, and reports that he sat in with a local band over the weekend, overjoyed to be back on stage.  Please visit NOAHleans for more on his story and their mission.


Paz has had a very busy week with the recent flow of donations to the Fund. Three keyboards and two drumsets were distributed. The website has been swamped with instrument requests and the line of recipients is long.  Please have patience. We are stretching our limited resources as best we can.

11/15/2005
On Sunday, November 13 our favorite producer, Chuck Wentworth of Lagniappe Productions, hosted a successful Katrina relief concert featuring Marcia Ball, Duke Robillard, The Creole Cowboys, Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez, Dikki Du and the ZydeCrew, Jesse Lege and Planet Zydeco. Over 500 folks attended the event, held at the legendary Rhodes on the Patuxet dance hall in Cranston, RI. The venue, sound and lighting, catering, and all artist fees were donated. The proceeds are earmarked specifically for musician relief. Special thanks to Chuck for his tireless support of the music of Louisiana, and to KPF President Juan LaBostrie for joining us from New Orleans.

11/09/2005
It's official! KPF received IRS approval today of our application for 501(c)(3) tax-emempt status. This means that monetary contributions to us are deductible under section 170 of the Code, and the value of donated instruments is deductible under other sections. Donors who have given $250 or more will receive notification of our tax number from our administrative assistant Deb Radway. Others by request. Please consult your tax preparer if you need more information about deducting your gift.

10/26/2005
Marcia Ball, Duke Robillard and many more artists will be performing Sunday, Nov. 13 in Cranston Rhode Island to benefit Katrina's Piano Fund. Check out mardigrasri.com , home of Chuck Wentworth's Lagniappe Productions, and click on "Louisiana Hurrican Relief Benefit." Klondike Sound will be providing audio.

10/24/2005
News from the Waterfront: After three weeks of life in a FEMA trailer park, Juan LaBostrie has relocated to LaPlace, LA. On his third trip back to his house in the 7th ward he discovered that looters had taken much of what he had salvaged. Nevertheless he maintains a determined optimism about the city, and is tirelessly advocating for City Hall participation in aid to musicians. Michael Paz is back in Destrehan, LA, where flooding was minimal. He has reopened Pyramid Audio, a New Orleans sound company, with hopes of renewed event activity in the months ahead. Michael continues to be our primary clearing agent for instrument acquisition and placement. Tom Bensen is hard at work raising money for KPF in New York, getting KPF listed as a beneficiary on fundraisers from auctions to black-tie banquets. All four of us met in New York City on October 10 (see photo on "About Us" page) at the offices of the New Orleans Musician Hurricane Relief Fund. This Fund was established by Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall, and we will help each other's missions. Please visit their site (see "Links" page) to learn more. Recent beneficiaries include Brice Miller of the Mahogony and Treme Brass Bands, Paul Longstreth of Kermit Ruffin's band, Tanio Hingle of Newbirth Brass Band, and Quint Maedgen of Pres Hall. Special thanks to Conn-Selmer for a great deal on his sax! Another proud placement for us was congas for Alfred "Uganda" Roberts, percussionist with Dr. John and many others, including the late great Professor Longhair. We appreciate the offers for donated instruments, and are hopeful of finding homes for them. We can work more efficiently, however, with cash. 75% of our placements have been done through music stores, many of whom have offered instruments at cost. When possible we are using Gulf Coast retailers, who also need to rebuild their lives. If you could make a donation, or forward the KPF link to someone who could, we'd appreciate it! New Orleans area music stores NOW OPEN, and friendly to KPF's cause: Soundchek Music, Metairie New Orleans Music Exchange, New Orleans C&M; Music, Kenner Ray Fransen's Drum Center, Kenner. Thanks for your support!

10/17/2005
Creative Constructs, a web design firm in Easthampton, MA, has generously donated their time to overhaul our site. Many thanks to David and Venus Designs for great work. Click around!

10/26/2005
The Nashville chapter of the Audio Engineering Society has formed KARES, short for Katrina Audio Relief Effort. Their mission is similar to ours but with the emphasis on helping audio professionals. We welcome them to the site. Please consider a donation to them. AES KARES.

10/03/2005
We're happy to announce the reopening of two New Orleans music stores, C&M Music and Ray Fransen's Drum Center. Michael accompanied drummer RAYMOND WEBER and guitarist ANTHONY BROWN to C&M over the weekend and purchased a DW drum kit and a Fender amp for them, respectively.

10/03/2005
Klondike Sound donated services to three KPF fundraisers this past week: On Wednesday, New Orleans piano legend HENRY BUTLER played a sold out show at Johnnie D's, a rhythm and roots club in Somerville, MA. Henry was backed by B3 organist-supreme Bruce Katz, saxophonist Amadee Kastenel, soul singer Toni Lynn Washington, and a host of Boston's best R&B; musicians. Special thanks to Kimball Packard, and Carla and Dana at the club. On Thursday the show moved to N. Conway, NH with trumpeter JAMES ANDREWS, for another sold out show at Mt.. Cranmore's base lodge. New Orleans bassist Stew McKinsey joined in, with local musicians brought together by Fryeburg Academy's Brent LaCase. Sunday, KPF was the beneficiary of Cyd Scott's "Play It Again" show in Greenfield, MA, featuring Ray Mason, Loose Caboose, Ed Mann's Jazz Dub Project, and Lil' Cyn and the Devils. KPF President Juan LaBostrie came up to stage-manage the show.

10/02/2005
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Director Tom Benson's sister, Maggie Bensen, of Graniteville, VT on September 28. She was 53. Maggie was a teacher and music lover. It is Tom's wish that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to KPF in her memory. We've asked Deb and Alexa to watch for these so that we may properly acknowledge them to her family. All of us here at KPF extend our condolences to Tom, Roberta, and the Bensen family in this difficult time.

09/28/2005
In a conference call last night with Juan and Michael I learned that two large New Orleans music stores have reopened! It is appropriate that our acquisition of new instruments be routed through them, to benefit the local economy as much as possible. Michael has offered to handle acquisition of donated instruments as well, and distribution of both. He is back in his home in St. Charles Parish, and has the time and connections to accomplish this. Please direct inquiries about giving or getting instruments to michael@thepazgroup.com

Juan, Tom, and are grateful to him for his deeper commitment to this complex process.

09/27/2005
I'm happy to report that the instrument recovery of the SOUL REBELS is complete! At a performance of the Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra I met a tuba player, Mark Fabulich, who confessed to having an old sousaphone in his closet...Mark is also a member of the Hot Tamale Brass Band, deep in the brass groove, and already had a Soul Rebels CD! His donation is greatly appreciated. Portman's Music in Savannah, GA made a 24" Ludwig marching drum available at cost, thanks to Butch in the drums and percussion department.

Danny Barker (1909-1994), known as the Banjo King of New Orleans, had given his 6-string banjo to Detroit Brooks, but the flood took it away. At a Louisville gig on Sunday with Dr. Michael White's Jazz Band, a benefactor stepped forward to buy Detroit a new Deering "Boston" 6-string, through an arrangement with KPF and The Guitar Emporium. The concert was one of four booked that weekend by Temple Adath Jeshurun, one of which was for a ribbon-cutting at an Episcopal Church. Never underestimate the interdenominational power of Dixieland!

A drum set is headed to Derrick Freeman, courtesy of Scot Cadel of Ontime/Carroll Music in New York City.

Walter Ramsey of the Stooges Brass Band is the recipient of a Bach trombone, purchased by a donor in Vermont who discovered that the one he intended to donate was junk, so he bought a good one for Walter!

At this point the Fund has delivered over $20,000 of instruments to working musicians with just $6,000 of donations. Some instruments, especially strings, are very personalized and hard to place successfully; horns, on the other hand, go fast. We're also getting many requests for drumsets. With the hassle of shipping these (150 lbs in 6 boxes), you can understand why cash donations work better. We send the drummer to the nearest music store, grind out a deal and charge it over the phone, and we're done.

These updates will be posted as often as possible; we are a volunteer organization, and two of our four directors are resettling their homes in New Orleans!

Thanks to WFCR and WMUA for the features recently aired on Katrina's Piano Fund.

09/20/2005
While commitments from manufacturers have been slow to develop, personal response to our fund has been amazing. We've received donations from all over the country and purchases are being arranged. Instruments are being offered to donees, some of whom have been able to choose models that best fit their playing styles. Who knew that there we so many different types of trombones! This morning we received notice that Gene Houck, National Sales Manager at Audix microphones, had directed donations in memory of his mother, Carol Downing, to Katrina's Piano Fund. We extend our condolences and heartfelt thanks to Gene. He submitted this note: My Mom was a piano player and organist who raised two musicians. She loved New Orleans and her fondest travel memories were that of taking the Delta Queen Steamboat trip down the Missisippi River. In fact she and Fred my step Father did that trip on three different occasions. We are honored that our efforts to place instruments in the hands of New Orleans' musicians will help preserve these memories for those who loved Carol Downing and appreciate the love she had for this culture. If your donation in Carol's memory is via PayPal, please tell us in the notebox on the PayPal page, so that we may properly acknowledge your gift.

09/15/2005
We are proud to announce the delivery of a trumpet to MARLON JORDAN, currently playing with Wynton Marsalis. Saturday he's playing at Lincoln Center as part of Wynton's "Higher Ground" relief effort, and we are very proud that he'll walk on stage with his own horn.

Higher Ground

Trombonist WINSTON TURNER of the Soul Rebels will receive a trombone soon, donated by Alan Sax, DJ at WMUA in Amherst, Mass. The Soul Rebels are also looking for other brass and percussion instruments, with shows already on the calendar. Contact Juan for a list.

Soul Rebels/Barnburner Music

We've received many offers for instruments, especially guitars, and we are logging them in for direct distribution as needs are known. Right now the focus is on brass bands. In a nutshell, these are ensembles of 6-8 players (typically bass drum, snare, tuba, bone, trumpet, sax) who have survived playing 3-4 shows a day around New Orleans, for birthdays, ribbon-cuttings, funerals, you-name-it. At night they play clubs. This ain't your father's marching band, it is FUNK....loud, raw, and unruly. KPF can think of no better music to lead the parade back to New Orleans.

The great thing about these bands is that they can work ANYWHERE, without a venue, without power, and without warning, spreading a sound unique to New Orleans, and earning a living in the process. They will keep the cause and the culture alive. Please donate to Katrina's Piano Fund so we can get these guys back on the street!

09/12/2005
Some good news! Quint Davis, Producer of the New Orleans Jazz Festival, announced on 9/9 that the Festival WILL take place next Spring. All of us in the Festival Family share his determination to overcome the tragedy, and begin preparations for the event. There's no better event than JazzFest to herald the resurrection of this incredible city. See the article here!

I am also pleased to announce that musician and producer Michael Paz, one of New Orleans' best-networked people, has found his home in St Charles Parish in good shape and is moving back. Paz has volunteered to help us locate displaced musicians and link them up with instrument sources, and help with distribution locally. Finally, I am delighted to report that ani difranco and Scot Fisher of Righteous Babe Records have pledged their support of Katrina's Piano Fund, and will direct donations our way. Klondike Sound has toured with ani for 9 years, and we share deep affection for New Orleans. Please consider a donation to the fund!

09/08/2005
Our paperwork is well underway thanks to the rapid response of our friends in Greenfield's business community. Juan and Klon are Directors of our newly-formed corporation, Katrina's Piano Fund, Inc. Juan will serve as President, Klon will serve as Treasurer/Clerk. We are both learning these ropes quickly, realizing that the 501(C)3 status will give folks reassurance that our mission is legit. Please note that contributions received in advance of our status approval are still tax-deductible, as long as we get approved. Our advisors have no doubts about our approval, as we are approaching the formation of this company with the same integrity and attention to detail which have distinguished us in the past.

Today we ship a like-new Fender Precision Bass to New Orleans bassist Mark Brooks. He and his family are safe in Houston. Mark plays with Wanda Rouzan, Henry Butler, and has done stints with Dr. John and the Nevilles. As bass players ourselves, Juan and I are proud and delighted that the first tool out of the box is a P-bass. This instrument was the generous donation of Marc Hickox of Boston, bassist with Dragonfly.

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