Musicians to join volunteers in rebuilding New Orleans

Jazz and construction are two things that the groups traveling to New Orleans over spring break will have in common.

22 jazz musicians, marking the first time which a curricular instrumental group has traveled together, and 26 community service volunteers will spend almost a week rebuilding the city.

The community service group will spend four days working with Habitat for Humanity, building homes in the areas most devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

The jazz musicians will spend two days building homes and  perform at local establishments.

Performing arts teacher Shawn Constantino hopes the musicians will be volunteering to help with the construction of Musicians’ Village. The village is a project spearheaded by jazz musicians Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. and provides housing to New Orleans musicians who lost their homes.

Two elite combos as well as the Jazz Explorers will attend the trip and play at venues around the city.

Members will also spend a morning attending a workshop with Director of Bands at Loyola University Joseph Hebert.

In addition, members will experience the city with tours of the French Quarter, trips to the D-Day museum and other local attractions.

“[Though we] won’t have a lot of off time, we will tour the French Quarter, listen to the HW jazz players who will be in town, and of course, eat some of the best food in the U.S.,” trip coordinator Father J. Young said.

“I strongly feel that the jazz program here is bound to be one of the finest in the state before too long,” Costantino said. “With that in mind, I want to begin taking the students ‘on the road.’ We have so much talent and so much potential for good works that it seems a natural fit to bring the sounds of a great jazz band to a city like New Orleans.”