Allen Toussaint plays Two Rivers |

Allen Toussaint plays Two Rivers

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photo courtesy Vive Music Group

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers don’t typically make their way to the Two Rivers Park band shell in Glenwood Springs.Wednesday’s Summer of Jazz concert at 7 p.m. changes that.This week, the free series hosts music legend Allen Toussaint – an award-winning composer, producer, songwriter, vocalist and pianist – and his jazz quartet.And it was easy as asking.This spring, Summer of Jazz organizers Bob and Mary Noone approached Toussaint at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.”I’m really excited,” Mary Noone said. “We ran into him at Jazz Fest, and he was just hanging out … listening to Trombone Shorty. I went up to him and told him how much I loved his music. Then Bob went up to him and asked him if he’d play. He said, ‘Yes.'”Toussaint – a lifelong New Orleans native who relocated to New York City after Hurricane Katrina – was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. More recently, he has toured with singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, with whom he collaborated on the soulful album project “The River in Reverse,” inspired by Katrina’s destruction.”Before Katrina, I stayed in New Orleans all the time,” said Toussaint, shortly after arriving in Glenwood Springs Tuesday afternoon. “These new performances are a new way of life, in a way. Back in New Orleans, I’m still working on getting my living quarters in order.”

Starting July 1, Toussaint and Costello embark on a European tour to promote “The River in Reverse.” The duo and accompanying musicians spent last year touring the United States, including a performance at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival. “When I caught the speeding train called Elvis Costello, there have been a lot of performances since then,” Toussaint said. “I feel very dearly about that.”Four days ago, Toussaint returned from a solo performance in Portugal. During his illustrious career, he wrote the hit “Working in a Coal Mine.” Toussaint also produced Dr. John’s Top-40 smash “Right Place, Wrong Time,” and the 1975 No. 1 hit “Lady Marmalade,” by Labelle, before singer Patti LaBelle reached solo stardom.”People have been so receptive,” said Toussaint, on touring. “I’ve always been behind the scenes in my comfort zone. I just think it’s absolutely wonderful.”Representing his birthplace and hometown as it continues to rebuild from one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history is of utmost importance to this son of New Orleans.”I love New Orleans so dearly,” he said. “I love the awareness of keeping New Orleans in the minds of folks. I’d like New Orleans to stay on the scene.”Toussaint is appreciative the Noones have again dedicated the eight Summer of Jazz concerts to New Orleans musicians.”It’s just outstanding they’re doing a whole series for it,” he said. “For one thing, there are so many people who are here and who will be in the audience who reached out to New Orleans, whether it was volunteering or donating. I would like to thank everyone who helped, who had so much heart and soul. I will never forget that.”Toussaint may have lost his home and belongings in Hurricane Katrina, but he keeps a positive outlook on his future and career.

“I lost items I loved dearly – memorabilia, works in progress, apparatus,” he said. “I’m fine with that. It’s going to be OK.”He considers performing in Glenwood Springs – his first time staying in the city – a blessing.”What a beautiful place to be,” he said. “So inspiring. It has to be so inspiring for people who live here.”Maybe a new song will come of it.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext.

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