Houston (Texas), USA – A group of Houston musicians led by prominent pianist Paul English, vocalists Gigi Hill and Tianna Hall, Johan Keus and others have formed a group called NOAH (New Orleans and Houston) whose mission is to reach out and support the displaced New Orleans musicians by providing them with housing, venues in which to perform, instrument replacement, etc. The project is named: SHONOF (pronounced “sho’nuff”: Safe Harbor for Our New Orleans Friends).
Primary goals are: 1. To contact New Orleans musicians, wherever they are, and let them know there is a support group in Houston ready to help them, provide housing, get gigs, etc.
2. To line up apartments, rooms, etc. for these people to live in until they can
get on their feet.
3. To organize an instrument clearing house whereby the musicians can get access
to needed instruments in order to perform and make a living.
4. To urge local venues–clubs, restaurants, hotels, etc.–to expand their use
of live musicians.
5. To organize and hold benefit concerts featuring the New Orleans musicians,
supplemented by the best of Houston musicians, to raise money to help the
musicians and the project.
6. To share their current gigs with the New Orleans musicians, either by adding a player or two to their performing group or by relinquishing an entire gig.
While several government agencies and aid groups are focused on the thousands of people at the Astrodome and elsewhere, this important segment is largely ignored. It is NOAH’s aim to not only help from a humanitarian standpoint, but to preserve an important part of the New Orleans culture and music scene.
A few musicians from New Orleans have landed in Houston but hundreds more have likely scattered and may welcome a chance to come together in a more cohesive environment.
Gigi Hill may be contacted on (713) 503-3518. Their new website is noahleans.org.