posted November 21st, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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Jimmy Buffett was in New Orleans on Friday for the memorial service for his friend Allen Toussaint.
Jimmy and Allen at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2014
World-renowned stars and home folks who love New Orleans’ rich musical heritage crowded into a historic theater Friday to bid farewell in words and song to Allen Toussaint, a prolific songwriter, performer and producer who died last week at age 77.
Jimmy Buffett sang “Fortune Teller.” Davell Crawford accompanied himself on piano, singing a haunting version of “Southern Nights,” the New Orleans-born Toussaint’s reminiscence of childhood visits to relatives in rural south Louisiana. Other performers included John Boutte, Dr. John and New Orleans’ “Queen of Soul” Irma Thomas, who said farewell with a gospel tune. The Preservation Hall Brass Band joined Trombone Shorty to close out the performances with a rousing “I’ll Fly Away.”
The tribute was at the Orpheum, recently renovated and reopened a decade after it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The performances were carried live on the city’s community radio station WWOZ. Toussaint’s body lay in repose in a closed casket in the theater.
Toussaint died from a heart attack on Nov. 10 while on tour in Spain. A private burial is planned Saturday.
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