New Orleans Habitat Musician's Village Musician's Village logo Habitat for Humanity logo

Residents speak  
Resident profile photo

Freddy Omar, Vocals (Latin, Funk)

Leader of Fredy Omar con su banda and named "King of New Orleans' Latin music scene".

Resident profile photo

Peter “Chuck” Badie, Upright bass (Jazz)

Regularly plays traditional jazz around town, but is best known as the architect of New Orleans R&B sound.  One of the original executives on Harold Batiste's musician-owned collective A.F.O. (All For One) Records. Had stints as a regular with Lionel Hampton, Sam Cooke, Dave Bartholomew, and Allen Toussaint's bands.

Resident profile photo

Big Fine Ellen Smith, Vocals (Jazz)

Repertoire includes jazz standards, blues, rhythm and blues, and New Orleans party classics.  Regular performer at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the French Quarter Festival.

Resident profile photo

Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Mardi Gras Indian

A teacher in the New Orleans public schools, Cherice Harrison-Nelson is an activist in preserving the city's unique culture. She's a third generation Mardi Gras Indian, the daughter of the late Big Chief of the Guardians of the Flame, Donald Harrison, Sr., and curator of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame. Harrison-Nelson was one of the first residents of the new Musicians' Village.

Cherice Harrison-Nelson featured in Louisiana Weekly

Photo by Jerry Moran

Resident profile photo

Michael Harris, Vocals/Bass (Gospel, Jazz)

Performs with several jazz bands, including Bruce Sun Pie Barnes, Irma Thomas, and Frog Man Henry and sings in a 60-voice gospel choir, Shades of Music.


Resident profile photo

Shamarr Allen, Trumpet (Jazz, Funk, Rock, Hip Hop)

Presently leads traditional jazz bands and his own funk and rock group, The Underdawgs.  Also runs a weekly clinic at Sound Cafe in New Orleans where he teaches music to middle and high school jazz enthusiats.

Resident profile photo

Calvin Johnson Jr., Tenor Saxophone (Jazz)

Studies music at the University of New Orleans and is involved in the community as a teacher at the Jewish Day School in New Orleans.

Resident profile photo

Robyn Jones, Clarinet (Classical)

Principal Clarinetist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and an active teacher and chamber musician.

Resident profile photo

Troy Sawyer, Trumpet/Violin (Jazz, Classical)

Studied Jazz and Classical trumpet with August Floury at Southern University in New Orleans.  Leader of his own band, The Troy Sawyer Band, and an illustrious composer, arranger, and producer as well. 

Resident profile photo

Lawrence, Vocalist (Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop)

Local musician who has performed with many artists such as George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelics, Bill Summers, Kermit Ruffin, Calactic, and Iris May Tango.  Wife, Kimberly, is a case manager with Catholic Charities and they are blessed with two daughters -- Darlin' Pearl and Divine Kumba.

Resident profile photo

Adam Crochet, Guitar/Vocals (Blues, Rock, Soul, Funk)

Currently leads the band I Tell You What, and writes songs. 

Resident profile photo

Margie Perez, Singer/Songwriter (Blues, Pop, New Orleans Funk)

In addition to leading her own band, Margie takes on many other projects including the West African percussion jazz band, Fatien Ensemble, the Afro-Cuban Jazz group, Michael Skinkus and Moyuba, and her latest project, The HoneyPots. She is a happy homeowner in the Habitat for Humanity Musicians’ Village, and looks forward to many porch front jams in her promising new community.

Resident profile photo

Kathleen Westfall, Soprano (Operatic & Concert repertoire)

Kathleen is a doctoral candidate in music at The University of Southern Mississippi, graduating in December 2011.  She earned her M. M. at Stony Brook University, New York, and her B. A. in Music from the University of New Orleans. At USM Kathleen has played Nedda in I Pagliacci and Mimi in La Bohème.  In 2009 she died on stage yet again as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.  Kathleen enjoys teaching voice lessons privately, but also plans to teach at the college level and continue to perform regionally as a classical soprano.

Resident profile photo

Tanya Huang, Violin (Fusion)

Tanya Huang was born in Taiwan and has been playing violin since she was six.  She has played in a variety of venues ranging from concert halls to streets and subways all around the world, and has long favored playing in the streets of New Orleans.   

Help rebuild New Orleans, donate today!

Download All These People from iTunes or Napster! Download All These People from iTunes

As one of the many musicians who was nurtured by the vibrant cultural environment in New Orleans, I cannot overstate the importance of the Musicians’ Village.  Please lend your support for those artists eager to call New Orleans home again, and for those in future generations who will be the beneficiaries of their knowledge.- Branford Marsalis

Video: A Dream Becomes Reality
Video: The Village through Harry's eyes, two years later.

America is better than this... music redeems

Raina Solutions

Interactive design by Digital Bungalow