In December 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, both musical forces in New Orleans, along with Habitat for Humanity, announced plans to build Musicians' Village, a neighborhood of the Upper Ninth Ward centered around the Ellis Marsalis Center For Music for displaced local musicians and other qualifying homeowner families.
Musicians' Village is intended to both preserve the city's musical culture, and foster the education of its residents. Now, two years later, 70 single-family homes are either under construction, or have been built on 8.1 vacant acres, which the New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity purchased in early 2006. Habitat For Humanity has plans to build 300 additional homes in the surrounding Ninth Ward area on other lots which they own. A portion of the proceeds from Connick's new CD Oh, My NOLA will benefit the Musicians' Village. I like that Connick is sporting the Saints hat, too. Who Dat?
Check out our gallery to see photos of the progress.