Sunday, August 26, 2007


Musicians Solidarity March

New Orleans musicians will join forces for a "Musicians Solidarity March" on

Sunday, August 26
12:00 pm
At Louis Armstrong Park

The procession will start at Armstrong Park and proceed down Rampart, on to Conti St., then to Bourbon St., and down Saint Ann St., finishing at Jackson Square where music industry leaders will speak about the current state of the local music scene.

Although no music will be performed during the second line, musicians are asked to bring their instruments as a symbolic gesture of their importance to New Orleans culture and how they are being 'silenced' by a seemingly apathetic business community.

For decades, the rich culture of New Orleans has provided musicians with the creative inspiration that has nurtured their craft. Since the levees broke following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, there are limited viable employment opportunities for musicians, often forcing them to leave the city. While there are some clubs and organizations that are proactively addressing these issues, this march will attempt to generate a sense of urgency in the community and that businesses and individuals will step up and support the local music industry. The march will also demonstrate what a Second Line Parade - the cornerstone of our music culture - would be without music. Anyone who supports live music or wants to learn more about the cause is welcome to participate.

Core messages of the event:

1) CITIZENS: Put your money where your ear is.
Support local musicians by attending live music performances and buying CD's. Take responsibility of our rich musical heritage - it identifies us as a community.

2) POLITICAL LEADERS: Don't bite the hands that feed you.
Hire more local musicians for public events and create policies that will support a sustainable viability for the music profession in New Orleans. Musicians laid the foundation for the profitable tourist market that is the backbone of our local and state economy.

3) HOTELS, BARS & TOURIST VENUES: Live music is not a is a privilege.
Pay musicians their asking rate. Include music in your annual budget and treat it with the same importance as other expenses that directly affect your bottom line.

4) PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS: Respect starts with you.
If gigs are your only source of income, request your asking price or don't accept the gig.

5) MUSIC LOVERS OUTSIDE NEW ORLEANS: Keep our story alive.
Attend live performances when you visit the city, purchase CD's featuring New Orleans musicians, and support non-profit organizations that provide direct assistance to musicians and preserve New Orleans culture.

Show your support by participating in the parade and help to spread the message.

The event is being organized by American Federation of Musicians (Local 174-496). Special thanks to all the musicians who contributed their time and energy to this effort.

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