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New Orleans Music: Toussaint Brings Magic Tree House to New Jersey

New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint is not much one for the spotlight. “Not my comfort zone,” he says. He prefers being in the background producing writing and arranging. He recently produced a musical version of a children’s book and is premiering it in New Jersey.

New Orleans Music: Toussaint Brings Musical Version of Children’s Book to New Jersey

new orleans music legend allen toussaint at jazz fest

New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint with chef and food tours expert Julie Barreda at New Orleans Jazz Fest. — Pix by Richard Bienvenu

Toussaint goes on to say in a northjersey.com article:

“Performing is not my comfort zone,” says Toussaint, who co-wrote a new musical premiering Saturday at the weeklong TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival at Newark’s NJPAC.

“I still feel I’m the guy who writes the songs and arranges them and sees that the music goes well,” he says.

That hasn’t stopped Toussaint the singer and piano man from becoming much more visible in recent years.

Following Hurricane Katrina, his timely collaboration with Elvis Costello (“The River in Reverse”) has led to world tours, appearances on HBO’s “Treme” and a new appreciation by the public as one of the key architects of the fabled, funky New Orleans R&B sound. But it is as a songwriter – “Mother-in-Law,” “Working in a Coal Mine,” “Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues),” “Southern Nights,” “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky” – and an arranger/producer – “Lady Marmalade” for Patti LaBelle – that Toussaint, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, has really made his mark.

It’s great to see the great New Orleans music legend Mr. Toussaint spread his wings. A true gentleman and a scholar, we wish him much success with the Magic Tree House.

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