Musicians raise money for industry peers

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NEW ORLEANS – The soul of New Orleans is slowly returning, but many musicians and gig workers still need help a year into the pandemic.

It seems as though people are continuously stepping up, even when they’re also in need.

One year ago, the Krewe of Tucks’ float den was transformed into a weekly webcast studio. Since then, big names have hit the makeshift stage to raise more than $300,000 for those in need.

Friday night, Irma Thomas performed with the ‘Funky Uncle Lounge’ float as the backdrop. Musicians and gig workers continue to raise money for those struggling in their industry.

“We actually seek out those who may not feel like they can come to someone and ask, but we know they’re having trouble,” said co-host Leslie Cooper. “We have surprised a few and those are my favorite.”

So far, more than $300,000 has been raised to help more than 450 people.

“We see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re still in the tunnel. Our music community in New Orleans was the first ones fired and unfortunately, they’re the last ones hired. They’re struggling and some of them have instruments to buy back again,” Cooper said.

Every Friday, the show is broadcasted for people to tune in and donate. Each performance is also live painted. The pieces are bid on and that alone has raised more than $100,000.

Cooper said, “All of these people are hurting really bad and they need the help and we’re so happy to be able to give it to them.”

Click here to donate, to apply for help and for upcoming concert dates.

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