Sad Notes From New Orleans Music World in Hurricane Ida's Aftermath As COVID-19 Hits Home
By: Wright Enterprises, www.wrightnow.biz
Amid the winds, rains, and all the weather-related despair, the everyday occurrences of life continue and among them is having to say a long goodbye to loved ones. Damon Batiste of NOLA's Royal Family of Music, the Batistes and founder of NOSACONN (New Orleans South Africa Connection), shared the news of the loss of his business partner Tommy Peters and fellow musician Bennie Pete, like Batiste, also a New Orleans cultural ambassador.
Their unexpected deaths due to COVID-19 could be considered a one-two sucker punch amid the perfect storm of the worldwide pandemic and a hurricane. Just nine months ago, Tommy Peters, cast a great vision for the music industry's fight against the pandemic sharing his optimism of BB King's Blues Club New Orleans under the leadership of Batiste.
"I have all the confidence in the world that Damon Batiste will be a strong force in resisting the economic impact of the Coronavirus in New Orleans," said Peters. Discussing the impact of the worldwide pandemic bringing the entertainment industry to its knees, Peters talked about the economic impact on business. "Congress has got to get out of gridlock and do something to help small businesses with PPP, not just the major corporations who are more equipped to ride the storm."
Peters' additional comments about overcoming the pandemic's effect can be found in the article: New Year New Vision Damon Batiste & NOSACONN Inc. Take On Call To Action For Nation's Healing:" https://louiseagle.com/
"Tommy was a dynamic and successful businessman with a big heart," said Batiste. He and his wife, Liz Peters, complemented each other. He built venues for musicians to bring healing to the world. Tommy was a blessing in my life and will be deeply missed, added Batiste. My prayers go out to all of the family, friends, and fellow employees all with a hole in our hearts."
Batiste who has been traveling along the southeast with his daughters' dog "Buddy," who he rescued from the family home amid the onslaught of Ida's rains and winds while his wife Johanna Maison, with daughters Nala and Leilah and son, "DJ-Damon Jr"., escaped ahead. He first landed alone with Buddy in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, about two hours from Orlando, where Peters died. He then followed his family who first stayed in Houston, Texas but eventually landed in Dallas.
Speaking from the Sheraton Galleria in Dallas, Batiste said: "I just found myself just driving in a state of unbelief. The real storm hit and then the emotional whirlwinds of having Tommy leave us September 5th and Bennie gone, September 6th have me still trying to find my footing. I know their inspiration to be resilient will bring us all through this."
Batiste sent out to his worldwide network of musicians and friends from New Orleans to San Francisco to Ghana and South Africa, the news of loss with a message of condolences to Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band. "This excerpt from the band's website is the core of who Bennie was, a true leader and a caring icon," added Batiste.
"Bennie was a rock in our lives. Yes, he was a leader, a teacher, and a mentor. More than that, Bennie was an inspiration to our band and to many other musicians, and the entire musical and cultural community." (Full Statement: http://www.hot8brassband.com/
Complete article with mention of Peter Batiste Sr., Jon Batiste, Sir Earl Toon, Alan Blankstein, Sam Pollard and Dallas' TBAAL Founder Curtis King posted at: http://www.wrightnow.biz/
Damon Batiste on New Orleans Resilience at the Sheraton Galleria: