Photos: New Orleans Musicians’ Village Toddler Park Opens, Featuring Walkway Named for Nonesuch President Bob Hurwitz
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity dedicated the newly finished Musicians’ Village Toddler Park last month in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The central walkway, Hurwitz Way, is named in honor of Bob Hurwitz, president of Nonesuch Records, and is designed to approximate a treble clef symbol. The walkway is etched to look like a keyboard for half of its length; the remaining length is etched with the opening bar of “When the Saints Go Marching In." A gallery of photographs from the park's dedication has now been posted to nonesuch.com/media, along with several photos Hurwitz has taken of the larger Musicians' Village over the years.
In the fall of 2005, Nonesuch released a benefit album of newly recorded songs featuring artists from the New Orleans music community across a wide variety of styles to document the depth, richness, and profound musicality of that unique city. The resulting record, Our New Orleans, raised 1.1 million dollars, which was donated to New Orleans Habitat for Humanity, to create new housing for the Musicians' Village.
Hurwitz says: “We knew that making the album Our New Orleans and raising money was important, but we had no clear picture of what it really meant until we actually came to the site of Habitat's Musicians’ Village. It was there that we began to recognize how essential it was to help support the incredible community of musicians whose work is at the very heart and soul of this great city. It is an overwhelming honor and profoundly humbling to have my name linked with such a meaningful project.”
New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village, conceived by Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, consists of 72 single-family homes, five Master Musician elder-friendly duplexes, a toddler-friendly pocket park, and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. All the homes built in the Village were constructed by New Orleans Habitat staff and volunteers. The Village stands on the former site of Kohn Jr. High School, which was torn down in the 1990s.
For more information on Musicians' Village and the larger efforts of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, go to habitat-nola.org. To pick up a copy of Our New Orleans, with high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album included at checkout, head to the Nonesuch Store now. To see photos of Hurwitz Way and Musicians' Village, go to nonesuch.com/media.