On Tuesday, Nov. 20, New Orleans hosts two separate benefit concerts for the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Both feature local performers. One presents them in a sit-down setting for a $50 ticket price. The other, less formal event offers a $20 ticket in a standing-room-only environment.
The NOLA Pay It Forward concert at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts features Irvin Mayfield, Amanda Shaw, Ivan Neville, Stephanie Jordan, James Andrews, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mia Borders, Khris Royal, Sasha Masakowski and more. Tickets are $50 plus service charges through Ticketmaster. The NOLA Pay it Forward Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), established in May 2011 to assist victims of the Mississippi River flooding, will funnel proceeds to the Sandy relief effort.
A simultaneous, but unrelated, benefit concert Tuesday at the Howlin’ Wolf in the Warehouse District features a slightly different mix of music for a less expensive price. It will occupy the venue’s main stage and the smaller stage in its adjacent venue, the Den. Eric Lindell, Camile Baudoin & the Living Rumors, Susan Cowsill & Russ Broussard, the Hot 8 Brass Band and Johnny Dilks & the Highway Kind are each slated to perform a 45-minute set on the main stage, starting at 8 p.m. Narcissy, the Tangle and MADA will be on the secondary stage.
Tickets are $20 at the door. Admission also includes food – while it lasts – from Atchafalaya Restaurant, Martinique Bistro, Jacques-Imos, Le Petite Grocery and Boucherie. There is also a silent auction and a raffle. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fun and other New Jersey/New York area non-profits.
That two benefit concerts for the same cause were scheduled on the same night was coincidental, said Monique Pyle, the producer of the Howlin’ Wolf benefit. She said her event had been planned, but not promoted widely, prior to the city’s Nov. 9 announcement about the Mahalia Jackson Theater show.
“I’m not trying to compete with them at all,” said Pyle, a New York/New Jersey native who now lives in New Orleans. “We can hit one group, and they can hit a different group. We’re both doing a good thing. Maybe together we can raise a lot of money.”
The two benefits, in addition to Preservation Hall's retooled "Renew Orleans" campaign, are indicative of how closely residents of the New Orleans area identify with the victims of Hurricane Sandy.