. In Remembrance - New Orleans Musicians' Clinic

In Remembrance


Darryl Anthony Adams – 1957 – 2018

New Orleans saxophonist Darryl Anthony Adams entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at age 61.

Darryl is survived by his mother, Eugenia Foster Adams; sister, Lynette Patrice Adams, cousin Kim Marie Adams-Hall, of New Orleans, LA., half sister Tammy White, of Montgomery, Alabama and brother Kevin Caliste. Father of Darryl Anthony Smith and Terrynce Anthony Tyler and Timeka Smith Banks. Grandfather of eight, great grandfather of two and uncle of two. Nephew of Ruby Stinson Adams, New Orleans, LA. and Mary Elizabeth Donate Proudy, Kemah, TX. Great nephew of Flora Bennett, Belize City, Belize, CA., Lorraine Green, New Orleans, LA., Almeta Stonum, LaMarque, TX, the devoted family of Rudolph and “Aunt Liz” Williams and a host of other relatives, musicians and friends.


Gary Bannister – 1949 – 2010

Gary Bannister

He was devoted to the music and the musicians. He loved New Orleans artists and their music, as evidenced by how many of them he booked into the club. He took a chance on a 90-year-old Pinetop Perkins some years back, and now 97-year-old Pinetop sells the club out six nights in a row. He worked hard to make sure Dr. John and Taj Mahal always came back, and I don’t have to tell you what that has meant to the NOMC and NOMAF these past few years. And this week the club is hosting Irma Thomas for four nights, her first appearance in Seattle in over 12 years.




Vincent James “Vic” Bell– 1949 – 2016

Vincent James “Vic Bell” passed away at his home in Houston, TX on March 27, 2016 at the age of 67. He was predeceased by his parents Helen Higgins Bell and Jacob Lavaughn Bell. Vic graduated from Cathedral High School, Lafayette, LA, received a BA in Government from LSU and attended the Paul M. Hebert School of Law at LSU. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He worked most of his life as an Independent Petroleum Landman in Texas and Louisiana. Before retiring he worked for Dune Energy. He served on the board of the Algiers Point Homeowners Association and was active in Trees Acadiana working to save many of Lafayette’s beautiful oak trees.

Vic’s passion was music. As a self-taught musician he composed many songs reflecting his love of history and the cultures of Louisiana and Texas.



Marc Bandhu – April 21, 1940 – February 10, 2015

Marc Bandhu

Marc P. Bandhu was born in 1940 in Chennai, India. He passed away on February 10, 2015 at East Jefferson General Hospital, where his wife Kathy worked for 33 years as a Nurse Anesthetist. Marc had an amazing career of 30 years as an Electrical Engineer in Major Projects at Shell Oil/Motiva Norco and Motiva Enterprise Convent. His son Christopher Wertz is carrying on his legacy as a Process Operator at Shell Oil Norco.

Marc and his wife Kathy resided in River Ridge, La for the past 28 years. He loved New Orleans for its culture, music and had a zest for life. Marc never met a stranger and had a smile that would light up a room. He will be remembered dancing to the music and wearing his signature colorful shirts and coordinated shorts.

Per his wishes, there will not be any formal service or memorial following Marc’s cremation. If you would like to contribute to a cause he was passionate about. Please consider contributing to New Orleans Musician Clinic.




Ed Bradley- June 22, 1941 – November 9, 2006

Ed Bradley

Ed Bradley was a journalist best known for his 26 years of award-winning work on CBS’s 60 minutes. Bradley, the first African American at CBS to be a White House correspondent and a Sunday night anchor, covered a broad array of stories with insight and aplomb during his 39-year career, from war to politics to sensitive portraits of artists.

He won virtually every broadcast news award — some of them more than once. (Washington Post). Bradley was honored in 2007 with a traditional jazz funeral procession at the New Orleans Jazzfest, of which he was a large supporter. The parade, which took place on the first day of the six day festival, circled the fairgrounds and included two brass bands. Columnist Clarence Page says, “Even in those days before the doors of opportunity were fully opened to black Americans, Mr. Bradley challenged the system. He worked hard and prepared himself. He opened himself to the world and dared the world to turn him away. He wanted to be a lot and he succeeded. Thanks to examples like his, the rest of us know that we can succeed, too.” He was known for his kind heart and was loved by all people who met him.


Dr. Alice Branfonbrener – 1931 – 2014

Alice Branfonbrener

The staff and patients of the NOMC mourn the loss on May 31, 2014 of the visionary mother of performing arts medicine. Dr. Alice Branfonbrener, 1931-2014. Alice, along with Dr. Dick Lederman, had the vision to blaze the trail for performing arts medicine. She was a remarkable doctor whose spirit, along with her smile, was infectious.

The Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) was incorporated in 1988 by Dick, Alice and group of physician colleagues who had been involved individually with the medical care of musicians and dancers. Further impetus toward formalizing their shared interest in this nascent medical specialty came with the founding of a scientific journal, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, in 1986. Both the symposium and journal began under the leadership of Dr. Alice Brandfonbrener of Chicago, who was the journal’s first editor-in-chief and who would become PAMA’s Founding President. Thanks to the PAMA cornerstone, the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic was founded in 1998.

Video Interview: Alice Brandfonbrener


George H. Buck, Jr – December 22, 1928 – December 11, 2013

George H. Buck, Jr

George Buck is a leading figure in the preservation and advancement of authentic traditional jazz. Born in Elizabeth, NJ he rose to prominence as the leading figure in the preservation and advancement of authentic traditional jazz. After selling newspapers during WWII and converting the profits into war bonds, Buck invested and recorded his first session with his favorite musicians, Wild Bill Davison and Tony Parenti on Jazzology Records.

Soon after, he began recording New Orleans style jazz on GHB records. He began yearly pilgrimages to New Orleans in 1961, cementing his relationship with the city by immersing himself in the culture and recording the important artists that lived here. George developed a passion for radio after hosting a radio show in college, which he dubbed, Jazzology. All of his profits from this went to support his growing list of record labels. He started and bought many labels in order to make sure this music would survive and thrive. The nine labels he issued a wide range of jazz music on are Jazzology, GHB, Circle, Southland, American Music, Black Swan, Audiophile, Progressive, and Solo Art. The largest collection of jazz music in the world is under this umbrella. His passion, love and enthusiasm for jazz never diminished.

In 1998, George and his wife Nina opened Palm Court Jazz Cafe and embraced the mission of the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and have since remained stalwart supporters. His legacy will live on and he will be missed.

George is survived by his wife, Nina, son, George; four step-children, Eve, Louise, Sasha, and Sammy; grandchildren, Ariel, Abigail, Rachel, Eli, Leo,Thomas and Sebastian; Sons-in Law, Jake, James,Yann; and daughter-in law, Cari



Syndey Byrd – July 3, 1944 – October 2, 2015

Syndey Byrd

Nestled amidst the funk and decadence in the cradle city of jazz and R&B is the studio of famed photographer and ethnic documentarian, Syndey Byrd (b. July 3, 1944). Sadly, after several years battling the cruelty of dementia, Syndey passed away on October 2, 2015

The NOMAF Syndey Byrd Benevolent Society was created by her family, fellow photographers and friends to ensure her future well-being and that her work speaks eloquently for generations to come. A longtime protege of the great photographic colorist Ernest Haas (1921 – 1986), Syndey Byrd has long been considered the preeminent chronicler of the colorful cultures of New Orleans, from Spiritualist Churches and Traditional Jazz to Gay Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Cajun culture and Mardi Gras Indians. In 1991 she was one of the eight photographers featured in the Eastman Kodak PBS special, “Ten Thousand Eyes.” Her iconic images have also been featured in numerous books and exhibitions from Paris to San Francisco.

A former Miss VFW of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Syndey moved to New Orleans in the mid 1970s and devoted the next four decades of her life to documenting the unique folk cultures and celebrations of Southern Louisiana. Today her legendary photographs of the masters of jazz, R&B, and blues make up a large part of her collection of more than 50,000 stunning images, distinguished by their scope of subject, graceful intimacy and seductive color.

Syndey Byrd passed away on October 2, 2015 in New Orleans. Read her obituary on WWL here and NOLA.COM here.


Michaelangelo interviews Syndey Byrd for From Sea To Shining Sea Watch Video (youtube.com)

Longtime Jazz Fest photographers capture essence of New Orleans music



Elsie Mae Cooper Burnett- January 22, 1925 – January 15, 2011


A member of the “Daughters of the American Revolution” and a preservationist of the French Quarter in the City of New Orleans, where she resided during most of her life, Elsie Mae was a fun loving Southern Belle, who surrounded herself with family, many musicians and life-long good friends.

Born in Quanah, Texas where her grandfather was the Sheriff, Elsie Mae met her husband Felix Burnett in music school at North Texas University. She sang with many bands of the Swing era including Sonny Denham, Vaughn Monroe, Glenn Miller and was one of the three “Moon Maids” who toured the USA. Together with the famous New Orleans Jazz musician Al Hirt, she recorded the now legendary Dixie Beer commercial, which played on the radio for many years. During their 37 years of marriage, she supported her husband Felix in the Lloyds of LElsie Mae Cooper Burnettondon Insurance partnership with his brokerage firm, Burnett and Company. Elsie and Felix were some of the select few, who were chosen to fly on the inaugural flight of the Concord and who often graced the boardroom at Lloyds with their infectious wit and humor.

Elsie frequently raised a glass to toast the occasion with the words ” good health, good life, prosperity and the time to enjoy it.” Her wonderful life and times surrounded by love, family and good music are celebrated and cherished by her granddaughters Marigny Lee and Jamie Burnett, loving daughter Lucy, a well known singer in New Orleans and her son-in law Gregory Holt. A few days before her 86th birthday, Elsie passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of January 15th 2011.


Linda Louise McCormick Caire – June 16, 1960 – May 28, 2014

Linda Louise McCormick Caire

The NOMAF team mourn the loss of our beloved donor, avid music fan and volunteer Creole Tea bartender, Linda Caire. We will miss her incredible spirit of life, her bubbly laugh, and the kindness of her heart. Her early career took her to Hollywood, where she worked as a personal assistant to Dudley Moore. Linda was a Clio Award-winning recording artist and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA). In the 1980s, Linda moved to New Orleans to work with her brother, Jim McCormick, in commercial real estate. She is survived by her husband, William “Bill” “Truman” Caire, of New Orleans and Edgard, LA, with whom she enjoyed a wonderful marriage for 20 years and her Tibetan Terrier, Fiddler.


Alex Chilton – December 28, 1950 – March 17, 2010

Alex Chilton

A songwriter, guitarist, singer and producer Alex Chilton was the lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star. He had a strong local following that often cites him as influence. His most famous song The Letter “showcased Chilton’s remarkable voice, as he growled and wailed like a black singer many years older.” It topped the US chart and became a huge worldwide hit (reaching No 5 in the UK). (The Guardian).

He moved to New Orleans in the 1980’s and lived a calm existence, reportedly working occasionally as a dishwasher. Brent Grulke director of SXSW, said: “Alex Chilton was an artist of the very highest caliber. It’s too early to do much but cry about our loss right now, but he’ll be missed, and missed more as the ages pass and his myth continues to expand — that music isn’t going anywhere.”



J. Andy Cole – March 5, 1961 – January 7, 2014

J. Andy Cole

Jonathan Andrew “Andy” Cole, beloved husband, father, veteran, reporter, and friend, lived his life with joy and passion. Always fondly remembering his childhood in southern Louisiana, Andy and his wife Lynne returned to New Orleans to pursue their dreams together. Andy was an integral member of the public relations team at Deveney Communication.

At every opportunity he and his wife attended live music events and festivals. He was a trusted friend and confident to those who were lucky enough to know him and will be missed by many. He loved music and felt it soothed the soul (an outstanding harmonica player himself). He also loved to brew his own beer and spend time with his friends and family enjoying everything life has to offer.

He leaves behind his beloved wife Lynne Yarborough Cole, his son Jonathan A. Cole, Jr. and his wife Ashley, his daughter Marie J. Cole, his daughter Haley M. Bryant, his brother Joe Cole, his sister Beth Cole, and a host of cousins, friends and colleagues.


Paul Crawford – 1925 – 1996

Paul Crawford

A New Orleans’ traditional trombone player, Paul Crawford recorded in New Orleans since the early 1960’s. As the co-Leader of the Crawford-Ferguson Night Owls his career began as a trombone player in the fifties, then with Punch Miller in the Preservation Hall, worked in the sixties in the jazz archives of Tulane University. In that context he was the motor for the foundation of the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra by Lars Edegran in 1967.


Janet E. Cunningham – 1945 – 2018

“I’m glad my trip to this life was long and amazingly free. I did everything fearlessly.” Janet lost her battle with cancer in 2018. Born in Binghamton, New York to Hannah Jacobs and Joseph Hughes, the family soon moved to the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana. Janet loved all things New Orleans—the people, food, music, and rich culture. She participated in and documented Mardi Gras celebrations, jazz funerals, and the Mardi Gras Indians. She marched with the Society of St. Anne, known for their elaborate costumes. As a young adult, Janet moved to NYC, joining the anti Viet Nam war movement as well as Andy Warhol’s Factory. In 1978, Janet relocated to Los Angeles with her son Beau and opened the iconic C.A.S.H. (Contemporary Artists Space of Hollywood) club and gallery in 1981, serving her famous red beans and rice for $5 and showcasing punk music and art. She parlayed her support of the punk underground and became a casting director, employing many of the artists and musicians who frequented C.A.S.H. Her generous spirit gave them shelter, a job and a meal. Scores of artists and musicians credit Janet with help in their early careers. Her credits include a long list of feature films (Body Double and Ghostbusters) as well as several TV series (The Wonder Years, Hill Street Blues) and numerous music videos for Steve Perry, Chicago, and “Weird Al” Yankovic among others. In recent years she returned to her first profession as a landscape designer, using native plants whenever possible. She was also a community leader, serving on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. Janet was Facebook before Facebook connecting people from her wide network of friends. Her parties were legendary and always open to everyone who could count on her trademark finger sandwiches and deviled eggs. All will miss her. Laissez les bon temps rouler! 


Big Chief Theodore Emile “Bo” Dollis – January 14, 1944- January 20,2015

Bo Dollis

Photo by Kim Welsh

“In a city of originals, Bo Dollis stood out.”

Big Chief Theodore “Bo” Dollis was the longtime Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias and an integral part of the Masking Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans.  Gifted with an extraordinary singing voice, Bo’s talents led him to become an influential member of the Mardi Gras Indian community and brought the Indians’ culture and sound to national prominence. Dollis, along with his mentor Big Chief Tootie Montana, helped refashion the practices of Mardi Gras Indian culture, preserving traditions but changing the nature of competition and violence between tribes by focusing on music, costuming and “prettiness.” Dollis & the Wild Magnolias recorded the first ever Mardi Gras Indian album which led them to perform around the world and brought Mardi Gras Indian traditions to the world’s stage.  In his later years, due to failing health, Bo stepped down as Big Chief and transferred the title to his son, who continues in his father’s footsteps. His joyous, vibrant spirit lives on in his music and The Wild Magnolias. Read the full Times-Picayune obituary here.


Herman “Roscoe” Ernest- August 12, 1951 – March 6, 2011

Herman Ernest

Drummer for many years and the backbone of Dr. John’s band Herman “Roscoe” Ernest was a prominent member in the New Orleans music community.

An incredibly kind man Roscoe unfortunately lost his long fight with cancer although he continued to play during his fight despite the pain. “Renowned for his larger-than-life personality, Mr. Ernest, known affectionately as Roscoe, was both a powerful percussionist and steadfast individual.

He referred to his playing style as ‘diesel funk'” (Nola.com). Roscoe has played with many famous New Orleans artists such as Jeremy Davenport, Kermit Ruffins, Paul Sanchez, Allen Toussaint, the Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Snooks Eaglin and Anders Osborne.

The late “diesel funk drummer” Herman “Roscoe” Ernest greatly impacted the Tulane and NOMC medical teams who cared for him during his battle with head & neck cancer. To honor of Herman’s wishes that awareness, prevention, and early detection spread throughout our community, Joyce Ernest, Herman’s widow, collaborated with the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation (NOMAF) and the Department of Otolaryngology at Tulane University School of Medicine to create The Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative. The ultimate goal is to save lives through early detection. Follow this link to find out more about the Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative.


Julia Fishelson – October 24, 1924 – September 12, 2013


Julie was a passionate fan of traditional jazz and a loyal supporter of the NOMC from our founding in 1998 until the day she died. She was a second-generation, life-long resident of Wooster,Ohio while maintaining a second home in her beloved French Quarter of New Orleans. As a cousin accurately described her, she will be missed by thousands and will roam our lives forever.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Julie was the only child of the 40-year-old Sadie Glick Amster and Nick S. Amster. She later graduated of Vassar College with a B.A. in economics in 1946. After being accepted to the law school at Western-Reserve University, she took the more normal path of a girl of her time, and married Joseph Eli Fishelson, a Captain from Wisconsin who was 10 years her senior and who would be her husband for 44 years (1947 until his passing in 1991).

She is survived by her three children, Nicholas Amster Jay Fishelson born in 1948; Ida Sue Fishelson born in 1950; and David Joseph Fishelson born in 1956; as well as four grandchildren, Samuel (18), Natasha (16), Eli (15), Max (15) and her daughters-in-law, Sarah Jane Buck and Erana Kratounis.

Julie was a world traveler who maintained countless contacts from her journeys, and a great friend to many causes, beliefs, and individuals. She described herself as “a civic activist with emphasis on women’s issues, politics, community development, education and the arts,” as well as an “enthusiast of early traditional New Orleans jazz.”

She was a founder of the Ida Sue School – Nick Amster Sheltered Workshop, the Wayne Center for the Arts, Main Street Wooster, the Wooster League of Women Voters and Every Woman’s House (to whom she donated her childhood home). She served as a board member or committee member at The College of Wooster, Massachusetts School of Law, Anti-Defamation League (regional board), National Jewish Council, American Israel Public Affairs Council, Planned Parenthood of North Central Ohio and Ohio Citizens for the Arts. A loyal supporter of the Democratic Party, she was an Ohio delegate at the national convention of 2000.


James “Jamie” Galloway III – February 14th 1972 – February 22nd 2013


James ‘Jamie’ Galloway III, a musician and chef beloved on Oak Street, was 41 when he passed in 2012. Originally from Alexandria, Galloway made his life in New Orleans providing his friends and fans with two staples of assured happiness: good food and good music. A fiber in the fabric of the New Orleans music scene for over two decades, he played alongside Dave Jordan in the band Juice, providing harmonica, percussion and vocals.

Galloway was a bear of a man with a powerful stage presence, and a glimmer behind his eyes. His approach to harmonica occasionally reminded listeners of John Popper of Blues Traveler. But a more apt comparison would be New Orleans’ own J.D. Hill. HIs playing was nimble, often piercing, like a clarion call. His passion for living rang out; distilled in every solo.

In addition to spreading happiness through music, Jamie made sure everyone around him was well fed. Throughout his career, Galloway worked at some of New Orleans finest establishments, such as Commander’s Palace, Dickey Brennen’s Steakhouse and Jacque Imo’s. Jamie Galloway’s life is celebrated every year with the Jamie Galloway Memorial Crawfish Boil & Block Party on Oak Street in New Orleans.


Richard S. “Rick” Heenan – April 5 1953 – January 1, 2014


Musician Richard S. “Rick” Heenan of Brockton, MA died Wednesday January 1, 2014 surrounded by his family at the Signature Healthcare Medical Center. Rick loved all music and had been a long time drummer with the Shoe City Blues Band in Brockton. He was an avid reader and billiards player, but his true joy in life was family – especially spending time with his grand daughters.

He was the devoted husband of Jeanne M. (Cugno)Heenan., son of the late Richard W. and Anne (Tully) Heenan and the loving father of Richard M. Heenan, BFD and his wife Sharon of Brockton and Dawn Gallagher and her husband Russ. He was the proud grandfather of Brianna Jeanne, Jaelynn Elizabeth and Gina Marie and brother of Patricia Roland of Raynham, Kenneth Heenan of Middleboro and Janice Chalmers of Bridgewater. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.



Peggy Lange Henehan – May 22, 1951 – May 11, 2011

Peggy Henehan

Peggy Lange Henehan died after a long battle with primary progressive aphasia, a rare neurological disorder. As a child and teenager, Peggy was a prominent presence on the local community theater stage, appearing in productions at the NORD Musical Theater, Gallery Circle Theater, and Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. After graduation from Dominican High School in 1969, she studied acting for two years at HB Studio in New York City. Back in New Orleans in the 1970s, as Chief Instigator of the Mystic Krewe of Alligator, Peggy was a driving force in producing a series of musical events that culminated in the founding of Tipitina’s nightclub. During that same era and into the 1980s, she was a partner/employee of the Whole Food Company of New Orleans until that company’s merger with Whole Foods Market of Austin, TX. Peggy’s next career move was to learn the trade of producing custom-made slipcovers and draperies. For the last three decades, until her illness prevented her from continuing, she executed the designs of many local decorators and produced her own creations working directly with homeowners. Her work was regularly featured in such publications as Southern Living and Architectural Digest. Peggy reigned as Queen of Mama Roux, a subkrewe of the Krewe du Vieux, in 2005. Peggy lived life to the fullest; her generosity of spirit and infectious smile her trademark. Always the consummate friend – injecting laughter and goodwill wherever life took her.


Frank Hoadley – July 18, 1923 – April 18, 2010

Frank Hoadley

Born and raised in Montpelier VT, Frank attended Antioch College, awarded the Purple Heart – wounded three times in WWII, and awarded the Combat Infantry Badge. He earned a PhD in Literature at the University of Oklahoma and taught at the University of Maryland before moving to New Orleans in 1959 to teach at the University of New Orleans, and then at Loyola and Southern Universities.

Known locally and nationally as an American Contract Bridge League Life Master, he had a lifelong passion for jazz music, which first attracted him to New Orleans, where, over the years, he became well known among fellow music lovers frequenting the city’s traditional jazz clubs.


Anastasia Petrou Holt – d. May 6, 2002

Anastasia Petrou Holt

Born and raised in the Greek community in Alexandria, Egypt where she met her husband, a British soldier, Frank Holt, during WW2. She moved with her husband to England in 1946, making her home there and raising the couples’ two sons. Later she followed her son ,Gregory, to the USA to live with his family. The last decade of her life was lived to the fullest in the French Quarter where her daughter in law was Lucy Burnett, a well known singer. An active social life at home forged good friendships with many local musicians, particularly John Cleary and Zachary Richard. She enjoyed a favorite pastime of being taken to Jackson Square where she always requested the street musicians to play” Amazing Grace”. Of a generous and loving character, Anastasia was never bashful about reminding everyone that strong ties to ones family, friends and spiritual beliefs must be maintained on the journey through life. A short time before she passed away at the age of 97, Anastasia was seen teaching her friends Greek dancing on New Years Eve.

A NOMAF Memorial Fund was established in Anastasia Holt’s memory to support live music performances for the elderly in nursing homes and at community events.



Bernard “Bunchy” Johnson- 1952 – March 21, 2010

Bernard Johnson

Jeremy Davenport describes Bunchy as “the quintessential New Orleans drummer. He was one of the last great, authentic New Orleans drummers who knew all those crazy, funky beats. He learned them from the source.” During his 40-year musical career, Johnson played with numerous New Orleans acts and toured with R&B singers including Johnnie Taylor, Billy Preston and Will Porter. He recently finished recording tracks for the Porter’s debut album and was working with musicians including Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and Leroy Jones. Right up until his death he played with Jeremy Davenport at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, according to the Times-Picayune. (Variety). He worked with famous New Orleans artists such as Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Ellis Marsalis, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Marva Wright, James Booker, Kermit Ruffins, Deacon John, George French and dozens more.



Helen Isley Judy – April 13, 1938 – May 28, 2014


Helen truly celebrated traditional Jazz and its musicians during every season and every holiday, especially Mardi Gras, with her innovative grace, style and her devilish grin. Born and raised in Berkley, WV; Helen discovered her spiritual home in New Orleans in 1985. She and her husband Ralph were married for 53 years. Once they moved to New Orleans fulltime in 2001, they enjoyed live music everyday of the year. Her other great joy was their two sons, Eric (Diana) and Craig and their two grandchildren, Jennifer and Jeremy, and Helen and Ralph’s adopted jazz family, giving moral support and housing them when needed.

To keep Helen’s jazz-loving spirit alive, her family requested that donations be made to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.



Eduard “Edi” Keller – 1944 – 2013

Eduard Keller

Eduard Kellers Liebe galt vor allem dem, schwarzen“ New Orleans Jazz. Diesen pflegte er zum Beispiel als Schlagzeuger in der „Black Onion Jazzband“. Daneben engagierte er sich auf verschiedenen Ebenen für den Jazz. Mit monatlichen Informationsblättern machte er Jazzfans auf bevorstehende Konzerte aufmerksam. Daraus entwickelte Edi Keller das heutige JAZZTIME, das Schweizer Magazin für Jazz und Blues. Diese monatliche Publikation ist heute aus der Schweizer Jazz- und Bluesszene nicht mehr wegzudenken. Als Förderer und Mentor der Schweizer Jazzszene stand er Konzertveranstaltern mit Rat und Tat zur Seite. Er schuf viele Kontakte zu internationalen Bands und Formationen. Viele Jahre organisierte Eduard Keller die Konzerttourneen der Sammy Rimington International Band und trug massgeblich zur Beliebtheit dieser Formation in der Schweiz bei. Nie stand Eduard Keller im Rampenlicht. Lieber hielt er sich im Hintergrund auf und freute sich mit allen Beteiligten, wenn ein Event zu einem Erfolg wurde.

Eduard Keller’s passion above all was New Orleans Jazz. He actively nurtured his love as a drummer in the Swiss “Black Onion Jazzband”. In addition, he was actively engaged in Jazz on various levels. His monthly jazz calendar brought upcoming concerts to the attention of many music lovers. Hence Eduard Keller developed today’s JAZZTIME, the Swiss Jazz and Blues magazine, a monthly publication that is essential reading in Switzerland’s music scene today.

As Patron and Mentor of the Swiss Jazz scene he worked alongside concert organizers and shared his experience with them. He established a broad network of international bands and groups. For many years Eduard Keller organized concert tours for the Sammy Rimington International Band and was central to the Popularity of this group in Switzerland. Eduard Keller never stole the limelight. Instead he remained in the background and shared the joy of a successful event with the musicians.



Evelyn Cassandra Kelly – 1952 – 2015

96800639Evelyn Cassandra Kelly, 63, of New Orleans, died May 6, 2015, at her home. Mrs. Kelly was former Associate Dean of Academics. “Cassandra always had music in her head and New Orleans in her heart.” She was preceded in death by her parents, Bob and Gwen Kelly. She is survived by one son, Kyle Kelly of New Orleans; one daughter, Natasha Ryan of Portland, OR; one brother, Bobby Kelly of Hattiesburg; two sisters, Marianna Smith of Nashville, TN and Marla Zeller of Denver, CO; and three grandchildren, Sean, Killian and Aidan Ryan.



Daniel “Danny” Farnsworth Kerwick  

Daniel “Danny” Farnsworth Kerwick, one of New Orleans’ beloved culture bearers, passed away in the spring of 2017 while helping family in his birthplace of Rochester, New York. He was a poet, playwright, artist, friend and mentor to countless others in the poetry, music and art community in and beyond the city of New Orleans. A chapbook of his last poems, “Star Juggler” is available from FootHills Publishing. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to New Orleans’ Musicians’ Clinic, which rendered him aid during his terminal illness. Although he never made it back bodily to his adopted second home-place of New Orleans, the city, its poets, artists and community that was touched by him will forever consider itself a home-place for him and his great soul.




Herman Leonard- March 6, 1923 – August 14, 2010

Herman LeonardHerman Leonard was known for his spectacular photography skills and his especially unique images of Jazz Icons. “He was a master of jazz, except his instrument was a camera,” K. Heather Pinson, the author of “The Jazz Image” (University Press of Mississippi, 2010), a study of Mr. Leonard’s work, said. “His photographs are probably the single best visual representation of what jazz sounds like.” (NY Times). He made many musicians famous with his portraits, including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Lester Young and Frank Sinatra to name a few. He returned to the United States in the late 1980s, eventually settling in New Orleans. Then in 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded his home and destroyed more than 8,000 jazz prints. His negatives were spared: by the time the storm hit, they had been removed to a vault on a high floor of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. A project to digitize all of his negatives will ensure that Mr. Leonard’s jazz photos will be available for generations. His work seems destined to endure, colleagues say, for its ability to distill its subjects’ very souls. (NY Times)


Cosimo Matassa – April 13, 1926 – September 11, 2014

Cosimo Matassa

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Cosimo Matassa, who recorded New Orleans rock and rhythm and blues from the 1950s to the 1970s, passed away at the age of 88. His original J&M studio is recognized as the 11th historic American rock and roll landmark.

Matassa’s recording business grew out of a jukebox business run by his father, John Matassa, and business partner Joe Mancuso. After selling used jukebox records, Matassa went into business with Mancuso as J&M Music Shop. Their venture was a hit. He is survived by sons John, Louis and Michael as well as seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.



Dr. Jack McConnell – 1925 – 2018 – The NOMC’s Inspirational Founder

Dr. McConnell was a noted scientist who, before his retirement, served as corporate director of advanced technology at Johnson & Johnson. Widely acknowledged for his medical contributions, Dr. McConnell directed the development of the TB Tine Test to detect tuberculosis, participated in the early development of the polio vaccine, supervised the discovery of Tylenol, was instrumental in developing MRIs, and helped write enabling legislation to map the genome. After his retirement he founded Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) – which currently has 89 member clinics in 28 states providing health care to the uninsured and medically underserved.

Aside from being a brilliant physician and noted philanthropist, Jack was a talented entertainer. His passion for traditional jazz was fostered by his early years stationed in New Orleans with the navy. In 1996, a magic day at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival led to the founding of the Musicians’ Clinic. Visit the History of the NOMC page to learn more about our inspiring founder, Dr. Jack McConnell, and the birth of the NOMC.

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George “John Jr.” Moore– April 2, 1947- February 11, 2015


MOORE, George “John” Jr., age 67, passed away on February 11, 2015 following a long, courageous and determined battle with cancer. Born in Norfolk, Va. on April 2, 1947, he was the son of the late Julia Massie Moore and George John Moore. He was preceded in death by his sister, Alice Aungst; and brother, Michael. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Vicki Roberts; his sister, Julie Wheeler (Damon); and their daughters, Christine Guynn and Jenna Wheeler; brothers, Keith Moore and Patrick Moore (Karen); niece, Lara Sable (Jon); and nephews, Dorian and Jared Aungst. John was retired from Philip Morris, Inc. John (aka “Johnyeoww”) was a talented musician who played electric bass, valve trombone, tuba and single string fishhauler. His passions were family, friends, music, fishing and history. He had a unique ability to keep people connected and had many friends, as far flung as Australia and Alaska. He reveled in annual trips to JazzFest in New Orleans. He will be remembered for his kindness, the strength of his friendships, his penchant for puns and having a heart big enough to embrace everyone.


Brian Kendal Savegar – August 24, 1932 – March 31, 2007

Brian Kendal Savegar was born in Abergavenny, Wales (UK), with a pencil in one hand and a jazz record in the other. The pencil still in his hand, he studied fine arts at Cardiff College of Arts, playing trumpet semi-professionally in jazz bands in Cardiff, Bristol and with Acker Bilk’s early Bristol Paramount Jazz Band. He went on to work as a book designer, art editor and designer before joining the film industry in 1962, when it had become clear he would have to make a choice between earning his living as an artist or playing jazz. Through it all, New Orleans jazz wove its spell. The TV series “Guests of the Emperor” and “The Big Easy” brought him to work in the city. At last Savegar combined his two loves, film and jazz, and took out his trumpet again. Sadly, from 1989, Brian’s enjoyment of film and jazz were marred by diabetes. True to form, he didn’t let it distract him from his passions, but neither did he take the disease seriously. He died on March 31, 2007, after a long, hard battle with the illness.


Jacqueline “Jacqui”  Mica Stavis –  1988 – 2016

JacquiJacqueline (Jacqui) Mica Stavis, a massage therapist, graduated from Wesleyan College and shortly thereafter moved to New Orleans.  On March 19, 2016, she was attending the T-Bois Blue Festival in Larose, Louisiana when lightning struck a small tent she took shelter in. She passed away the following day at Lafourche Parish Hospital.

Her father, George Stavis, writes “As to Jacqui, nothing could stop her from becoming the creative, caring, brilliant woman she became. Her voyage through life, though tragically shortened, was incredibly well done.”

Jacqui will be remembered as a joyful force of good, who moved to New Orleans in 2012 to be a part of a city culture which she long admired.  Always warm, positive, inviting, friendly,  loving and creative, Jacqui became a volunteer massage therapist for the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.

She is mourned by so many family, friends and NOMC team members and will be remembered for her joyful spirit and her love of music, art and New Orleans.

Provincetown Banner | The New Orleans Advocate | Fox 8

Delbert Pembroke Strong – November 4, 1949 – March 25, 2015

Del_Strong_Del’s charming sense of humor lives on in his many friends and his beloved family Robert Strong, Sarah Strong Ray, Sheelah Strong Black and loving nieces and nephews. Del’s passion for antique wood led him to create a successful flooring business. One of his proudest accomplishments was finishing in the top 500 racers in the annual Crescent City Classic, where some of his family will be participating in his memory over Easter weekend.

Christopher “Guido” Whitesel

Christopher “Guido” Whitesel, a bartender who worked at establishments in Annapolis and Baltimore, died March 27 of cancer at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. He was 55. Mr. Whitesel was born in Washington and raised in Silver Spring, where he graduated in 1973 from John F. Kennedy High School. He attended Montgomery Community College before becoming a bartender in the 1970s. Mr. Whitesel was working at a gangster-themed bar in Rockville when a customer christened him with a nickname that stuck for the rest of his life. A music fan, he enjoyed attending the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that is held in April in New Orleans.



Barbara Wick

Barbara Wick was an avid participant in the New Orleans community. She was a longtime Girl Scout leader who inspired many young women. She was active in the Catholic Church. Her obituary was in the Times Picayune on November 4, 2010.





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