Rifftides reader Russ Layne writes from Chester, New York.
Wow, Just read the piece on Paul Desmond and the Red Cross. The first live jazz group I ever saw, a bar mitzvah present from my mother at age 13, was The Dave Brubeck Quintet at Fordham University (splitting the bill with Jackie Mason).
Anyway, as founder and executive director of Sugarloaf Music Series, Inc. in ‘downstate’ New York, my wife and I have developed a growing affinity to most Louisiana music, including Cajun. So…when we had the opportunity to help a group of Cajun artists in much need from New Orleans, The Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, and booked them into seven schools and venues with ALL proceeds going to the band, I reached out to the Red Cross, requesting that they help underwrite air fare for the band to Newark. After several connections with the NYC and local Goshen, NY offices, I was informed that they had no mechanism to facilitate our request. And now I’m learning that one of my original jazz idols, Paul Desmond and his estate has left nearly $5 million to the Red Cross. That I couldn’t get a penny to help some victims get work makes it even MORE of a
I was finally able to get Tipitina’s Foundation to handle that expense. I encourage all to funnel their contributions to that organization.