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Saving our youth one trumpet at a time

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2012 hasn’t been so easy for New Orleans. Yes, the beginning of the year brought us some great events, but we’re also dealing with the same old sh*t…violence and crime. Like the rest of the city, we have the same questions: “When is enough enough? What can I do to help change this culture of violence in New Orleans?”
Many will say that it’s too late to save New Orleans. Or they might even leave because they “can’t take it anymore.” For those people, we invite you to keep those opinions to yourself. If you’re not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem…those who complain, but do nothing; those who move away because it’s easier; those who turn a blind eye thinking it will all work itself out until the violence arrives at their doorstep.
Well, no matter where you live, the violence has already arrived…and unless we do something about it, it will remain and continue to ruin this city.

Native New Orleanians Lisa and John Grillot, founders of local cause Trumpets NOT Guns, are doing their part in stopping the violence in our city.

Trumpets NOT Guns raises money musically to provide local New Orleans youth with trumpets and other musical instruments in an effort to keep them out of the violence of the city. To help in their quest, the Grillots have enlisted the help of local musician and celebrity spokesperson Glen David Andrews. Lisa said, “Glen is just embedded in the musical culture of New Orleans. Like my husband and I, he is so passionate about this city and he’s someone who wants to help the youth of New Orleans. For the Trumpets NOT Guns kids, they get to see a physical body, someone who’s seemingly larger than life, doing what they want to do.”
Trumpets NOT Guns | New Orleans Causes |
She continued, “Glen has taken that step to be right there in the midst of a kid and say, ‘This is what you can be doing.' He actually asked a group of kids one time, ‘How many of you all know someone that’s in a coffin?,’ and I was amazed at the number of kids that raised their hands. And that’s something that we want to change in Trumpets NOT Guns. We want to provide them with an alternative route with music rather than picking up guns. We’re trying to save the streets one horn at a time.”
Trumpets NOT Guns accepts both new and used instruments. Donations can be dropped off at the New Orleans Music Exchange (NOME) at 3342 Magazine St. and monetary donations can be made on the Trumpets NOT Guns website. The monetary donations are used to refurbish old instruments and also buy new ones (in fact, $150 buys a new trumpet).

“We want the kids to have a trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, or whatever instrument that will keep him or her off the street,” Lisa said. “And maybe there’s a child who wants to attend a program like Roots of Music or NOCCA or even wants to start their own band, but can’t afford the instrument. Trumpets NOT Guns wants to be able to provide him or her with that opportunity through an instrument.”
She added, “One of the greatest highlights of Trumpets NOT Guns was watching the kids from the Preservation Hall Junior Brass Band’s faces light up when they received their instruments. Here were kids who were passionate, sitting on benches without an instrument, just listening, watching, and wanting to learn. Those are the kids that you want to have an instrument.” Presents Heritage: A Brass Band Celebration | New Orleans Events |
And this Friday, InthekNOwla is having an awesome event to benefit Trumpets NOT Guns. Hot 8 Brass Band, Free Agents Brass Band, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, To Be Continued Brass Band, and Baby Boyz Brass Band with a special guest performance byGlen David Andrews all under one roof at Presents Heritage: A Brass Band Celebration!

Hosted by Treme actor, comedian, and native New Orleanian Tony Frederick with music by Definition DJ Chris Stylez, InthekNOwla invites you to come enjoy the culture of New Orleans with proceeds going to Trumpets NOT Guns.  

Join at Heritage: A Brass Band Celebrationon Friday, January 20, 2012. Doors open at 8:00pm with performances starting at 8:30pm at 12 Bar on Fulton St. Tickets are $12 in advance online and $15 at the door.

Join us as we celebrate New Orleans!

For more information about Trumpets NOT Guns, please visit their website at And for more information Heritage: A Brass Band Celebration, please visit the website at

Last modified on Thursday, 28 June 2012
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