Bringing the Music back to New Orleans

Share
Copy

For many, New Orleans means music.

When Hurricane Katrina ripped through the city last year, though, thousands of musicians lost their instruments and in many cases their livelihoods, silencing the heart and soul of the region.

The Edge from the rock band U2 decided to help with his organization Music Rising, which puts instruments back in the hands of musicians.

"Jazz, R&B, rock and roll -- everything started in this little area," the Edge said to ABC's Robin Roberts.

"So, not only for today and for the future, but in reference to the history and the past, I think every musician who earns money doing what they do owes a little bit of a debt to New Orleans."

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is partnering with the Edge to help revive New Orleans music.

Tonight, Green Day and U2 performed during the Saints' opening game in the newly refurbished Superdome that was badly damaged by Katrina.

"For an area like this, for New Orleans, it's the blood that flows through the city and to see what the Edge and Music Rising. … You know, putting this thing together, it's just a great, great thing," Armstrong said.

It's a great thing for musicians like Jonno Frishberg and members of his band, Bayou Deville.

They lost instruments in Katrina but are now back on their feet and playing again, thanks to Music Rising.

"Giving people their tools that they lost to work with is not only empowering but is directly useful to allow them to pay rent and feed themselves and their families, you know," the Edge said.

Music Rising has helped musicians get back on track.

Now, the Edge wants to bring music back to schools and churches as well.

"That is the next phase, yes. … If you go to the Music Rising Web site -- musicrising.org -- there's lots of ways people can get involved," he said.

Songs of Optimism

Before the Saints took to the field for their opening game, Green Day performed the hit "Wake Me Up When September Ends" in the Superdome. "I think the sort of thing that it resonates is hope, you know," Armstrong said about the song.

"That's sort of … that's what, you know, lifting people's spirits and getting into that … something that can rally people for hope a little bit more."

U2 is hoping its music will have the same effect.

The Saints have said they want to play "Beautiful Day" during all their pregame activities -- and U2 ended tonight's pregame show with that song.

"It's a good song," the Edge said. "I hope … for New Orleans it's like the past is laid to rest and from now on, OK, we have a lot of problems to get over but now the party starts so 'Beautiful Day' is probably a fitting song."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...