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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 November 2005, 11:12 GMT
French boost for New Orleans jazz
New Orleans jazz band
Jazz is an integral part of New Orleans' musical heritage
Benefit concerts to help jazz musicians in New Orleans hit by Hurricane Katrina are to take place in France.

Local musicians will also be sponsored to play club dates in Paris.

An exhibition of loaned French works at the New Orleans Museum of Art is among the other cultural initiatives being lined up by officials to help the city.

French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu and Louvre museum boss Henri Loyrette are due in New Orleans on Friday for an announcement.

The city was established in the 18th Century as part of the French colonisation of Louisiana.

Accommodation

The first benefit concert will take place on Monday at the Palais des Congres in Paris and will feature French singer Francis Cabrel and Louisiana star Zachary Richard.

All of the French people have Louisiana on their minds
Jean-David Levitte
France's ambassador to the US

The event is expected to raise $130,000 (73,000).

From December, New Orleans musicians will be provided with accommodation and stipends by the French government as part of three-month residencies in Paris.

"All of the French people have Louisiana on their minds and want to help make New Orleans better and more beautiful than ever," France's ambassador to the US, Jean-David Levitte, told US politicians and French business leaders in Washington.


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