Katrina Scatters New Orleans' Musicians

For New Orleans, music is both a way of life and an industry. Now, the people who make up that industry are scattered in different parts of the country. Some of them lost everything, including their instruments, to Hurricane Katrina.

Vasti Jackson stands in his ruined backyard. i i

A huge tree fell into blues musician Vasti Jackson's backyard in Hattiesburg, Miss., destroying his rehearsal studio. Courtesy of Vasti Jackson hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Vasti Jackson
Vasti Jackson stands in his ruined backyard.

A huge tree fell into blues musician Vasti Jackson's backyard in Hattiesburg, Miss., destroying his rehearsal studio.

Courtesy of Vasti Jackson

Elizabeth Blair reports on how the music community is trying to keep track of its own through benefits, the Internet and word of mouth. Web posts offer updates on local music scene figures such as Vasti Jackson, Irma Thomas and Charmaine Neville. As for the ReBirth Brass Band, all nine members lost their homes and have fled to Houston, Baton Rouge and Dallas.

Now, displaced musicians who made a living performing and recording in New Orleans are stuck without sources of income. Several groups are working to help musicians by finding them clothes, housing, instruments and gigs.

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