Remembering Allen Toussaint on social media

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 7.15.48 AMWhile working in the previous gig, doing social media roundups was a regular thing, and sometimes felt a little bit like a reflexive thing. But as the tributes come pouring in on the news Tuesday (Nov. 10) of Allen Toussaint’s passing, I thought it appropriate to revive the practice here.

Why? Because it seemed like Allen Toussaint was everywhere, and, perhaps more important, gracious with everyone he met. In just this past year, around Mardi Gras and then around Jazz Fest (appropriately enough), I either saw and waved at Toussaint (in his vintage Rolls Royce, about to park and head inside Restaurant August) or convinced him to take a selfie with my son Eli as he was making his way from that Rolls to Morning Call in City Park.

I’m not alone. Everyone, it seems, has a photo of them taken with (or especially of) him, if Facebook is any indication this morning. Here are some of these and other memories I’ve pulled from social media. What’s also amazing is the range of video clips of his work that are pouring out, showing the breadth and depth of his talent.

Feel free to share you memories of him in the comments. One final memory, and it’s a deep one or anything, but I think the year was 2000, and my old boss Michael Tisserand at Gambit Weekly invited me as his plus one to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s gala. And Toussaint was the headliner. What a way to see him perform for the first time. I love to say how fun it is to see great music in gritty, homey nightclubs, but it seemed only fitting to watch Toussaint in a festive room, decked out in a tuxedo (as if he’d dress any differently for any other gig), and leisurely rolling through his vast catalogue. Brilliant stuff, and memorable.

Rest in peace to our own #AllenToussaint. He will be so missed.

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