Allen Toussaint, along with Aaron Neville, founded New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness (NOAAHH) in 1985, when they brought musicians together for a concert to benefit the hungry and homeless in New Orleans. Following Toussaint’s passing in November, the annual benefit became a tribute concert to his legacy.
Paul Simon brought his band for the concert, including Mark Stewart on guitars, wind instruments and vocals; Bakithi Kumalo on bass and percussion; Vincent Nguini on guitars; Jamey Haddad on percussion; Jim Oblon on drums and guitars; Mick Rossi on piano; and Andy Snitzer on the saxophone.
The benefit included a performance by The Allen Toussaint Combo of Larry Sieberth on piano, Rene Poché on guitar, Rolant Guerin on bass and Herman LeBeaux, Toussaint’s son-in-law, on drums. Guests artists included Cyril Neville, John Boutte, Deacon John Moore, Davell Crawford, Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and Erica Falls.
The Pre-Patron Party took place at Tableau, which highlighted the signature cocktail, “My Southern Nights.” Toussaint’s hit song “Southern Nights,” inspired bartender Murf Reeves to create the drink.
Susan Guidry, Councilmember of District A, presented proclamations to Toussaint’s son and daughter, Reggie Toussaint and Alison LeBeaux, in remembrance of their father. His birthday, January 14, was dubbed Allen Toussaint Day. Additional proclamations were presented to Paul Simon in gratitude for his support of NOAAHH, and to NOAAHH in appreciation of its 30 years of service to the greater New Orleans region.
The concert was a sold-out event. This spring, NOAAHH will distribute its grants to organizations that address the issues of hunger and homelessness.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Tribute to Allen Toussaint,” benefiting New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness
When: Tuesday, December 8
Where: Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré