New Brighton comes to New Orleans' aid

  • Updated: November 14, 2012 - 6:17 PM

NEW ORLEANS - Jason Harrelson said he's donating one of the best trumpets he's ever made to benefit a festival honoring the artist who sparked his passion for the instrument -- Louis Armstrong.

Harrelson's "Satchmo" trumpet has a fleur-de-lis mouthpiece and transcription of the musical score for Armstrong's trumpet solo in the song "A Kiss to Build a Dream On." It also has a tuning slide mounted with a small replica of an iconic New Orleans water meter cover.

The trumpet is set to hit the auction block on Saturday with proceeds benefiting Satchmo Summerfest, the free, three-day festival in the French Quarter held each year in early August around Armstrong's birthday. The instrument is expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000.

Harrelson, a Louisiana native who now lives in New Brighton, Minn., said he's attended the festival the past two years but has been an Armstrong fan since childhood. As a fifth-grader, he said he wrote a book report about Armstrong and later took up playing the trumpet because of his admiration for him.

"I could relate to his story, to his coming from poverty and making music his life," said Harrelson, who was born in Leesville, La., and was 19 when he started making trumpets.

Armstrong was born in New Orleans on Aug. 4, 1901, and died in 1971 after a stellar career that took him through jazz and motion pictures.

Harrelson, 38, has his own shop in New Brighton and provides instruments to musicians worldwide.

Dave Matthews Band takes on Sandy

NEW YORK - The Dave Matthews Band is giving $1 million to help superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.

The band announced on Wednesday that the Nov. 30 opening show of its winter tour at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., will be a benefit concert. All ticket and merchandise sales will go to the Bama Works Sandy Relief Fund, established at the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Sandy's assault more than two weeks ago created widespread damage and power outages in New Jersey and New York.

The Grammy-winning group will wrap up its tour Dec. 22 in Philadelphia. Tickets are still on sale for the Nov. 30 show, which features Jimmy Cliff.

AN OLD LOOK: New York's Apollo Theater will be temporarily transformed into an old-school nightclub in February. It's part of a production directed, choreographed and hosted by Maurice Hines. Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater will be among the performers.

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