Lenny Kravitz, Allen Toussaint, Mos Def, Ani DiFranco, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars to Perform.
May 10, 2010, New Orleans, LA - Musicians, business leaders in New Orleans and community radio station WWOZ-FM have come together to create the GULF AID benefit concert to raise funds for wetland recovery efforts, fishermen and their families as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico from the site of the collapsed deepwater Horizon. The fundraising concert will take place on Sunday, May 16, rain or shine from noon - 10 pm at Mardi Gras World River City overlooking the Mississippi River in New Orleans.
Multiplatinum recording artist Lenny Kravitz, who is also a part-time New Orleans resident, will perform as well as Allen Toussaint, Mos Def, Ani DiFranco, The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars (featuring Tab Benoit, Dr. John, Cyril Neville, George Porter Jr., Waylon Thibodeaux, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone, and Johnny Vidacovich), Zachary Richard, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Irvin Mayfield's Playhouse Review, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, Jeremy Davenport, Rebirth Brass Band, MyNameIsJohnMichael, with additional artists to be announced.
Tickets are $50 and are available exclusively via Elevate Tickets (www.elevate.com). VIP packages will be available. All funds will be managed and distributed by Gulf Aid in partnership with WWOZ. The fund has been created to assure that all monies are properly distributed to organizations to focus on two key elements of recovery – the wetlands/coastal environmental issues and the well-being of fishermen and the regional seafood industry.
Donations may also be sent to the Gulf Aid, a 501 C3 non-profit corporation located at P.O. Box 6917, Metairie, LA 70009.
Ewell Smith, Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board stated: "Our fishermen appreciate the unprecedented support and leadership of the efforts to draw attention to the extraordinary need of our coastal fishing communities. Thousands of families across south Louisiana will potentially be impacted for years to come and will need all the help they can get to survive. They bring the catch of Louisiana seafood to America's tables. Without them we lose a vital part of our culture and heritage that make Louisiana so special."
GULF AID will be held at Mardi Gras World's scenic River City, which offers dramatic views of the Mississippi. The site is being donated by Joe Jaeger and Barry Kern, partners in the Mardi Gras World facility. "As a response to the threat to our fishing industry and wetlands, we decided to create an awareness and fundraising drive, GULF AID, and called on our personal friends, musicians, restaurateurs and corporate sponsors to help," said Barry Kern, Blaine Kern Studios.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM will broadcast live from the concert, which will also be streamed live on the internet: wwoz.org. "Our response is sure, immediate and passionate—our music community, through its music and heritage station, WWOZ, is calling on all its many friends throughout the country, to step forward in an effort to give heart to the devastated and the displaced," said David Freedman, WWOZ General Manager.
Rehage Entertainment, producer of the Voodoo Experience and the Essence Music Festival is producing GULF AID. "WWOZ and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation called about this very special project and we have had the privilege of working non-stop for the last 3 days," Rehage said. "The event will feature world-renowned artists, including the home team players, all of which share a love for our city and concerns about how the recent developments in the Gulf will affect the lives of people in Louisiana and bordering Gulf states." YES Productions has donated video production services to document the concert.
Sidney D. Torres, IV, owner of SDT Waste and Debris, LLC is a concert financer and organizer. "As a native of St. Bernard Parish, I have family members and friends who have been affected by this tragedy. We can all come to the aid of the fishing industry and those whose livelihoods depend on fishing by buying a ticket to GULF AID," Torres said.
Updates on the concert will be posted at www.wwoz.org.