In an effort to increase its reach and amount of schools served, the Tipitina's Foundation has announced an instrument repair initiative which will be kicked off with a benefit concert on May 16th. The instrument repair initiative will work in tandem with the repair shop that the Tipitina's Foundation opened with Stafford Agee, trombone player for the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band (read Gambit's article on Agee here).
The initial benefit concert will be held at Tipitina's Uptown venue on Tchoupitoulas St. starting at 8 p.m. and will feature musical performances by Sweet Crude, Paul Sanchez & Minimum Rage, Social Set and Tank & the Bangas. Advance tickets can be purchased on the TIpitina's website for $12 and will be available for $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the instrument repair initiative.
In December, Tipitina's Instruments 'A Comin' program announced a $200,000 donation of brass instruments to public schools. Executive Director Bethany Paulsen said the concert marks just the beginning of Tipitina's instrument repair initiative that seeks to increase the amount of schools that benefit from the instrument donation program.
"This program will allow to expand the number of students that will benefit from donated instruments," she said.
The initial concert will help cover the costs of the instrument repair initiative, which Paulsen says will refurbish, clean and provide new mouthpieces and cases for all the instruments that are fixed through the program.
"We want kids to feel like they're getting a brand new instrument made especially for them," she said.
Though still in its early stages, Paulsen said that Tipitina's will be partnering with FedEx to provide free shipping labels for anyone seeking to donate broken instruments to be repaired for local schools. She also said the Foundation will be expanding its instrument repair shop by starting an internship program with Agee where students learn how to repair instruments in his shop.