New Orleans Jazz Musicians Perform at G-20 to Highlight Climate Change in Pittsburgh


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Tonight, Wednesday, September 23, 2009
9:00 PM to 12 Midnight

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh
117 Sandusky St.
Pittsburgh, PA

PITTSBURGH, PA -- The music and culture of New Orleans took center stage at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh today ahead of the G-20 summit. In a gala event organized by the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN) and hosted by Teresa Heinz and Senator John Kerry, ten of New Orleans' finest jazz musicians will perform for a crowd of dignitaries from around the world to celebrate a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change.

These world leaders are here to reach agreement on a course of action that will stimulate the economy and protect us from the worst effects of global warming, said Teresa Heinz, Chairman Heinz Endowments/Heinz Family Philanthropies. Pittsburgh, like New Orleans, is a shining example of the transformation possible as communities part from the old polluting past and embrace the 21st century economy. Let's hope this week marks the moment when America and the world truly measured its massive environmental challenges and set about meeting them.

Among those performing are Allen Toussaint, Tab Benoit, Michael Doucet, Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, Dr. Michael White, Philip Frazier, Ann Savoy, Terence Higgins, and Wilson Savoy.

Jazz is one of America's greatest cultural contributions to the world, and New Orleans played a vital role in its development. The world watched as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005 and became an international symbol of the dangers of climate change. As the world focuses on Pittsburgh for the G-20, these musicians convened in the hope that America would now make another great cultural contribution to the world: leadership in the global transition to a clean energy economy.

The G-20 in Pittsburgh provides the president and the nation the momentous chance to lay the groundwork for building a clean energy industrial sector, said Peter Bahouth, Executive Director of USCAN. Doing so would provide millions of good new jobs and form the foundation of a sustainable global economy. This is an opportunity to make history.

Pittsburgh, like New Orleans, has been economically devastated in the past. Once a down-and-out Rust Belt city, Pittsburgh's transition into a thriving green building and clean energy icon is exemplary of the kind of change these advocates seek. And world leaders will likely be paying attention to that fact as they convene to discuss solutions to the current global economic crisis, the subject of this years G-20 summit.

Tonight, the world gets to hear what Louisiana is all about, said Quint Davis, Producer/Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. That means our music, and also our passion for the great city of New Orleans, still standing despite the best efforts of a broken climate. Tonight were putting our experience on the biggest stage of all the world stage.

USCAN is the largest US network of organizations focused on climate change and the only network connecting organizations working on climate advocacy and policy development at all three levels of the debate: state/regional, federal, and international. USCAN's mission is to support and strengthen civil society organizations to influence the design and development of an effective, equitable and sustainable global strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. USCAN is an affiliate network of the Climate Action Network (CAN), a worldwide network of more than 400 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from 85 countries.

Contact Joel Finkelstein at 202-822-5200 x279/[email protected] or Bryan Buchanan at 202-822-5200 x225/[email protected]

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