Toussaint a giant of the fest and American music

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NEW ORLEANS -- As our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bandleader, pianist, singer, and prolific songwriter, Allen Toussaint was tops.  But to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, he was so much more, and he loved playing his hometown.

Allen Toussaint playing piano in his studio (WGNO-TV)

Reggie Toussaint played on stage with his dad for many years and spoke to us about his love of playing home but also his father's humble spirit.

"I don't care where we we went, where we played and we played some amazing places, there was nothing compared to Jazz Fest," he says. "Every year when Jazz Fest would come around he'd say, 'You think they gonna have me back next year?' I'd say, 'I think they'll have you back, man.' If no other show happened that was the show that was important to him."

Alison Toussaint-LeBeaux and Reggie Toussaint (WGNO-TV)

Alison Toussaint-LaBeaux managed her father's career. She said she's still in awe of the musician her father was and the legacy he left.

"Constantly something will come up that I didn't know about, that he's done, that he did the arrangement and he's playing, and he wrote it, and so the scope of the musicianship about him is just mind blowing to me," says Toussaint-LeBeaux.

Quint Davis of Festival Productions says, "Allen Toussaint -- Whew! -- was such a giant! I still haven't really embraced that. There's so many times I think of something we need musically or a way we need to do something and the first reflexes are Allen. then you have to stop yourself."

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