Allen Toussaint, French Quarter Fest 2015, Photo by Stephen Maloney,

George Porter Jr. Remembers Allen Toussaint

It’s a sad day in New Orleans, and across the world of music, as we report that legendary songwriter, producer and performer Allen Toussaint has passed away. Toussaint died in Madrid on Monday while in the middle of a European tour. He was 77.

George Porter Jr., Jazz Fest 2014, photo, Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine, June 2014

Photo by Elsa Hahne.

A number of artists, dignitaries and music fans have been sharing their thoughts on Toussaint’s passing today, including those that worked with him over the years. The Meters bassist George Porter Jr., whose collaborations with Toussaint go back 50 years (most recently at last month’s Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival), posted this heartfelt remembrance on his Facebook page earlier today:

Today’s news of Allen Toussaint’s passing while he was on tour in another place other then home shakes me to the core and saddens me very much. We have chosen to live a life we love and for some reason want to do it for more than the money. We do it really for the love we get from the world and the smiles on the faces of people when we play our songs. Musicians that live on the road do have some fears, that we may not get back home safe, being away from home when our family needs us or being on the road alone when sad things happen. The two people I have loved longest in my life passed away while I was not home almost a year apart. Losing my Brother and my mother when I was not home was terribly hard. Now I have once again lost someone I care about while I am sitting alone in a hotel room. I still need to get through the flights home before I can comfort my wife and grieve my friend.

Still I am going to keep doing what I do, maybe that is crazy but it is what I love. Allen would expect no less, he lived and loved this life too for the same reason, the happiness music can bring. Todays News broke my heart, it is a real shock. When I played with AT at this years Blues & BBQ I told him I needed him to help me with some music that I have run into a brick wall with, he smiled and said send it to me. I got busy and did not send it, I always thought there was time, Allen seemed so happy and healthy. So sudden it is hard to believe. Thank You Allen Toussaint for the music that you gave me a chance to play with you, as well as the music that I have come to play because of what I learned from seeing up front and close how you could get the best out of an artist. You could get them to find stuff in themselves that they didn’t know was there. You inspired me in so many ways. Your talent as a musician and a producer has been a major role model in how I approach my own music and how I interact with other musicians on stage and in the studio. Allen, Your music will live on and your teaching will continue to inspire. You are a true legend and have left a legacy like no other. gpjr

Over the course of a nearly six decade career, Toussaint built up a body of work that made him an international star and one of the most respected songwriters of his generation. He is survived by his son Reginald Toussaint and daughter Alison Toussaint LeBeau​, grandchildren and many friends throughout the world.