NOAHH Honors Friend and New Orleans Legend, Musician Bob French

Bob French, the unofficial Mayor of New Orleans Habitat's Musicians’ Village, passed away this week at the age of 74. He was the first to move into the Village's elder friendly doubles. Bob was a friend to New Orleans Habitat and spent many days on his porch talking to volunteers visiting the city before he would go to his nightly gig. He led the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, which he inherited from his father, Albert “Papa” French; volunteered as a deejay with WWOZ; and was a mainstay...

NOAHH Honors Friend and New Orleans Legend, Musician Bob French

11/14/2012 12:00:00 AMBob French and Little Freddie King at the dedication of their Musicians' Village homeBob French, the unofficial Mayor of New Orleans Habitat's Musicians’ Village, passed away this week at the age of 74. He was the first to move into the Village's elder friendly doubles.  Bob was a friend to New Orleans Habitat and spent many days on his porch talking to volunteers visiting the city before he would go to his nightly gig.  He led the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, which he inherited from his father, Albert “Papa” French; volunteered as a deejay with WWOZ; and was a mainstay of the New Orleans music scene. In the wake of his passing, musical tributes are appearing all around New Orleans.   

Post Katrina, Bob supported NOAHH in many ways but mostly with his music as he performed for President Jimmy Carter at the 2008 Carter Work Project on the Gulf Coast, President and Mrs. Barack Obama along with other Musicians' Village residents led by Harry Connick Jr. at Bob French on drums at the Ellis Marsalis Center groundbreaking ceremonythe 2010 Governors' Ball, volunteers and dignitaries during the groundbreaking for the Ellis Marsallis Center for Music and most recently in Washington DC as NOAHH was honored for Civic Achievement by the National Building Museum.  Bob was selfless when it came to supporting Habitat by sharing his musical gifts. 
 
Bob loved to perform New Orleans music, from rhythm and blues to traditional jazz, and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band continues even now with his nephew Gerald French taking the lead. During his career, he performed with many New Orleans legends, including Fats Domino, James Booker, Dave Bartholomew, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsallis. One of the goals of New Orleans Habitat's  Musicians’ Village was to foster a sense of community and share the musical heritage of New Orleans.  Bob French truly helped make this idea a reality.  NOAHH sends condolences to the French family for the loss of a great friend.  Rest in Peace, Bob.