NEW ORLEANS - It's the nightly rehearsals of the Roots Of Music in Bywater, and the band is gearing up for a special performance.
The music and mentorship program benefits greatly from the Link Stryjewski Foundation, and their Bal Masqué is this weekend.
It's the 4th year of the big celebration, but it's always been a purpose-driven party for chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski.
“Years ago we decided we need to focus in on a cause, and what is it that's important to us,” Donald Link said. “We put a lot of thought into it, and obviously it was the youth of New Orleans.”
In addition to the Roots Of Music, the foundation also serves Kingsley House, The Youth Empowerment Project, and Son of a Saint.
But make no mistake, the Link Stryjewski Bal Masqué is a party, and a lot to look forward to.
“Louie's coming back with his brothers as the Michot Melody Makers and when they opened up last year and had all the cajun dancers out there, it just set the stage for an awesome evening, and I'm excited about that,” Stephen Stryjewski said.
ALso back from Haiti is the group Ram to headline, and it's only fitting that the Roots Of Music will perform as well.
It's a small payback for a program that requires a lot of resources to exist but benefits greatly from Link Stryjewski.
“It's one of the most important things going for us,” Darren Rogers with the Roots of Music said. “Honestly, if it wasn't for the the Link program and what they do for us, we wouldn't be able to continue or maintain what we're doing and the service we provide to the kids.”