Heart of Louisiana: Blue Monday

Once each month, some of the top musicians in the Lafayette area get together for a jam and benefit concert.
Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 4:06 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2023 at 10:44 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Once each month, some of the top musicians in the Lafayette area get together for a jam and benefit concert. These “Blue Monday” shows are focused on helping those people who carry on the music, culture, and arts in the area.

The music that’s played once a month at this Lafayette pub is special. It’s not just the songs or the talented players, but it is music with a mission. In many cases, those who are helped are the musicians themselves. Lee Allen Zeno is a grammy award-winning bass player who is a regular at these Blue Monday jams at the Jefferson street pub in downtown Lafayette.

“But there are some musicians that can’t play anymore or they’re too sick to play but and giving them a little bonus then saying, well, look, we got this for you. It brightens up their day,” Lee Allen Zeno said.

Zeno knows firsthand how critical the need can be for some aging musicians. The organization behind Blue Monday helped him with major medical bills.

“You know, I was diagnosed with five different cancers and when I was unable to work, they came through for me,” Zeno said.

Jonathan Williams runs the love of people organization. He spends the day grilling the barbecue that’s served to patrons of the show. What do you feel are some of the more significant types of assistance you’ve been able to give to older musicians?

“That could be something as big as a roof, living somewhere to live, but also when you define quality of life, it’s somebody to go sit down and have coffee with you in the morning to let you know that you’re not forgotten about,” Johnathan Williams said.

It’s not just the older musicians who are getting assistance, younger players also get career guidance that could help them avoid financial hardships in the future.

“We also need business acumen for musicians, either musicians just starting out, or musicians that are in the middle part of their career at the end of their career, to be able to make sure that they know what financial strategies are out there for them. So that they can properly ensure their equipment properly, you know, properly have a good contract if they need a contract with a venue and just handle their business to the best of their ability,” Jill Butler said.

Jill Butler is another regular on the keyboard with the Blue Monday all-stars.

“I think it’s changed the heart of the musicians that participate, not just the beneficiary,” Butler said.

You can’t help but feel the passion of these artists who are playing music that entertains the crowd, and also helps their fellow musicians have a brighter future.

Click here to report a typo.