Music Instruments For At-Risk Youth In New Orleans

by Tipitina's Foundation
May 11, 2011

Supporting Music Programs in Louisiana and Now Japan

Instruments for Japan
Instruments for Japan

I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for supporting Tipitina’s Foundation. As you may already know, we recently made a few changes to our annual Instruments A Comin’ fundraiser. In response to the recent tragic events in Japan, we have included in our beneficiaries Japan’s Wonderful World Jazz Foundation and the Swing Dolphins, which is a children’s swing jazz band located in Kesennuma. Kesennuma was a town that was almost completely wiped out by the Tsunami and subsequent spills from oil tankers in the area ( All the children in the band are safe, but they lost their homes, family members, and even their beloved friend who used to repair their instruments. Needless to say, they lost their instruments and rehearsal room as well. They now live in shelters, school gyms, hotels, stadiums, and makeshift houses.

Japan pledged more than $15 million in international relief after Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures. Jazz lovers in Japan have been bringing musical instruments and cash support to New Orleans area schools for years. Now Tipitina’s Foundation wants to return such generosity to tsunami-ravaged Japan. We are collaborating with our two main contacts with the Wonderful World Jazz Foundation, Yoshio and Keiko Toyama, which have been supporting us in our efforts to bring music to the shelters. This couple and their organization have been sending instruments to New Orleans for 17 years now ( In the months following Hurricane Katrina, the Toyamas held fundraisers and raised more than $80,000 to help New Orleans professional musicians get their lives back. Yoshio and Keiko have now identified several needy children’s bands. Their hope is to bring the healing power of music into the lives of evacuees by providing these young musicians with instruments to play in the shelters and at fundraisers. As a result of their efforts we have already outfitted the Swing Dolphins, which played their first concert on April 24th (

As this rural corner of northeastern Japan tries to start over, we have sent $11K to the Toyama’s to help outfit this band with instruments (2 Alto Saxes, 2 Tenor Saxes, 2 Bari Saxes, 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, 1 Electric Guitar, 1 Electric Bass, 1 Keyboard, 1 Drum). Here is a link to the Swing Dolphin’s thank you to our Foundation for the instrument donation: Since we have this strong support link on the ground in the hardest hit areas, we are working to raise more so that we can support other children’s bands in need. We do hope you will join us in our mission to bring instruments to the children of New Orleans, as well as to the children of these devastated communities in Japan.

For more information about Tipitina’s Foundation, and Instruments a Comin’ 2011, please visit or email

On behalf of the entire Tipitina’s Foundation team, I wish to thank you for any assistance you can provide in helping us to further our goal.

With great respect and appreciation of your support,


Kim Katner
Managing Director
Tipitina’s Foundation
4040 Tulane Ave., Suite 6000
New Orleans, LA 70119

The Swing Dolphin’s band theme - On Green Dolphin Street:

New Instruments
New Instruments
Swing Dolphins
Swing Dolphins
Thank you
Thank you


  • Mari
    Mari Love love love what you did with your recent fundraiser and sending instruments to Kesennuma! You've got yourself a fan.
    • 6 years ago
    •  · 
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Organization Information

Tipitina's Foundation

Location: New Orleans, LA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Tipitina's Foundation
Project Leader:
Tipitina's Foundation
New Orleans, Louisiana United States

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