Wynton Marsalis on “Rebuild the Soul of America”

Wynton returns to New Orleans to commemorate Hurricane Katrina and help support the cultural infrastructure of a city devastated one year ago.

Celebrate Jazz Trio: Rebuild the Soul of America“ is a three-day commemorative event sponsored by Harrah’s Casino that includes a concert; a talent search contest featuring performances by Wynton and the hottest local talent in the Mississippi Delta; and a free jazz and culinary event featuring Emeril Lagasse with Marsalis welcoming back the school children of New Orleans.

Appearing at the Aug. 29 benefit concert “New Orleans: Rebuilding the Soul of America…One Year Later” is Grammy Award-winning artist Stevie Wonder, whose latest album, A Time 2 Love, features his hit single “Shelter in the Rain, “ which he produced last fall and dedicated to New Orleans. Wynton narrates “Shelter in the Rain” for the blind in the song’s music video.

The Rebuilding the Soul of America concert also has tapped Earth, Wind and Fire, touring this summer to promote the band’s 23rd career album, Illumination, and New Orleans-native and Grammy-award winner Dr. John.” The concert also showcases the talent of three of Gospel music’s hottest artists: Grammy Award-winning Gospel legend Yolanda Adams, Grammy Award-winning Gospel crossover artist Kirk Franklin and Houston native and Grammy Award-nominee Kim Burrell. The Wynton Marsalis Septet and local talent also are on the roster to perform. Tickets go on sale Tuesday.

Wynton and tribute event co-producers have committed to tapping additional resources, humanitarians and corporations to help in the region’s recovery. Other events that will support the proceeds will be the Kazanjian Foundation Jewels for Charity through eBay┬« Giving Works, the dedicated program for charity listings. The auction is being organized by Auction Cause, a premier online auction management agency. The auction can be found at and will begin Aug. 22.

The first show will be taped at the Harrah’s New Orleans Theater from 9 to 11 p.m. with edgy, playful performances by Wynton and the series’ host. Subsequent shows will discover what talent is “swingin’” the hardest in juke joints, living rooms, back rooms and street corners throughout the Mississippi Delta. This unique concept features performances by undiscovered musical talent indigenous to the New Orleans region. What sets the Ambassador of Swing apart from the others is that viewers will get an education on the roots of American music. Contributions to the RSOA Charitable Trust will be made annually from the series.

Cookin’ With Music! With Chef Emeril Lagasse and Wynton Marsalis
Wynton and celebrity chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse will host a free educational cooking concert for 4, 000 school children from New Orleans and surrounding parishes. The event will feature a cooking demonstration of Jivin’ Jambalaya by the Master Chef coupled with jazz education by Wynton. The event takes place Aug. 28 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The two New Orleans cultural ambassadors will explore two important aspects of New Orleans culture: Jazz and food.

Individual tickets begin at $35, and all proceeds from the concert will go to RSOA, which will help rebuild the cultural economy of New Orleans. The concert takes place at 6 p.m., Aug. 29 at the New Orleans Arena. Tickets of $35 to $250 may be purchased through Ticketmaster (504) 522-5555 or online at; or the New Orleans Arena ticket office at 1501 Girod Street, New Orleans. New Orleans Arena Box Office Information line: (504) 587-3822. Packages are available online at

Ticket packages are available through Royal Insider at (504) 524-7094 or emailing [email protected]. Sponsorships are available by calling 866-415-RSOA (7762) or 866-403-JAZZ (5299).

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  1. I don’t know too much about jazz music, or wynton, but I was searching online to see if a CD of the rebuild new orleans concert was available. Does anyone know? If not, is there a compilation CD that has a similar vibe?

    Linda on Apr 13th, 2008 at 9:54pm

  2. I finally saw the video of “Rebuild the Soul of America” on HDNET TV, and although I have seen Wynton play here in New York over 20 times I have never seen him so at home. His vocals and story telling were incredible!

    I have known Wynton for over 15 years, back when he was an educator for Learning through Art, and his love and humanity has not changed with all of the success he has achieved. He truly is an American tresure and a great Ambassador of peace.

    Robert Rozzi on Apr 26th, 2007 at 11:28am

  3. Didn’t Don Vappie appear with Wynton on the Hurricane Relief benefit that aired on PBS? Is he a guitarist?

    Sonalii on Aug 30th, 2006 at 8:14am

  4. You can check the PBS website for individual states pubic t.v. schedules and the times the documentary will be shown. The nationally schedule showing is set for September 7th but times and dates can vary.

    M.Vappie on Aug 30th, 2006 at 12:53am

  5. Will this concert or any portions of these events be televised nationally or made available on DVD to purchase at a later time? Wynton’s dedication to the music and people of New Orleans can only bring success to these events.

    Sonalii on Aug 17th, 2006 at 11:19am

  6. I wish Wynton every success with his concert to benefit those who were effected by Katrina. I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Wynton at the Marciac Jazz festival when his Septet came on stage playing a tribute and I would love to know what that number is called and where I can purchase it.

    Neville Goward on Aug 17th, 2006 at 6:05am