Wynton about the three-day Katrina observance
New Orleans will observe the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as only America’s most musical city can, with a jazz funeral.
Wynton Marsalis and Mayor Ray Nagin announced Friday afternoon the three-day observance, set for Aug. 27-29, promising details later.
Wynton and the city’s musicians will lead the procession from the Convention Center to the Superdome in the tradition of a jazz funeral. The grand marshal will be Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, who arrived the Thursday after the Aug. 29 storm to lead the federal troops who followed.
“These three days will be one of rebirth, remembrance and renewal,” the mayor’s announcement said.
Observances will include prayer breakfasts, an evening of fine dining in the city’s famed restaurants, a gospel concert in the Convention Center and a two-hour nationally televised jazz concert led by Wynton in the refurbished New Orleans Arena.
There will also be charity auctions, an Ambassadors of Swing talent search, a big-donor Masquerade Gala at Harrah’s and a giant fireworks display on the riverfront.
There will be a ringing of the city’s church bells at 9:38 a.m. Aug. 29, the hour at which the first levee breach was reported. Wreaths will be laid at the site of each levee breach throughout the city.
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and Wynton will present an educational program of food and music for children.
Chairs of the event are Seletha Nagin, New Orleans’ first lady; Bill McFarlin, executive director of the International Association for Jazz Education; and Dan Carlin, chairman emeritus of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.