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Poor health leads Domino to cancel appearance

Legendary musician will still perform at New Orleans Jazz Fest
/ Source: The Associated Press

Poor health led Fats Domino to cancel an autograph session Monday to raise money for a music charity, but he is still scheduled to perform Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

“It’s not any major ailment, but he wanted to rest up for Sunday,” said Adam Shipley, music director for Tipitina’s nightclub. “He’s not feeling well, and his first priority is getting ready for Jazz Fest.”

The 78-year-old musician had been scheduled to sign autographs for his new album, “Alive and Kickin,” just before the Tipitina’s Foundation benefit concert.

The album was released as a benefit for the foundation. Tipitina’s Foundation helped local musicians find housing and new instruments after the storm.

Money raised from the concert and silent auction will go toward getting instruments for the city’s school music programs.

Foundation director Bill Taylor said one of Domino’s biggest concerns, especially since Katrina displaced more than half the city’s musicians, has been the next generation of musicians.

“He’s always asking about the kids, how they’re doing,” Taylor said.

So far the foundation has provided more than $500,000 worth of donated instruments to the next generation of New Orleans musicians.

Domino’s public appearances have been scarce since he was famously evacuated from his flooded home after Hurricane Katrina. His first public performance since then will be Sunday as he closes out this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with Paul Simon, Irma Thomas, Lionel Richie, Ellis Marsalis and Pete Fountain.