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Pete Fountain back home after heart surgery

‘Doing great,’ but no po'boys yet for the renowned jazz clarinetist
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain, hospitalized last month for quadruple bypass heart surgery, is back home.

“He’s doing great, watching his diet, listening to the doctor,” said Fountain’s agent, Benny Harrell. “He’d like to get somebody to bring him a fried oyster po’boy, but I told him I’d kill them if they did.”

Fountain, 75, hadn’t been feeling well since Mardi Gras. His Half Fast Marching Club made its trek down St. Charles Avenue without him on Fat Tuesday for the first time in 46 years.

Fountain, a New Orleans native, lost his $1.5 million house in Mississippi, as well as his gold records, memorabilia and 10 musical instruments to Hurricane Katrina. His New Orleans home also was damaged but has been repaired.

“He really wants to be able to play at Jazz Fest,” Harrell said. “His doctor told him to start playing some and we’d see how it goes.”

Fountain is scheduled to close out the Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 7.