Food & music help transform lives of New Orleans youth

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Link Stryjewski Foundation is thrilled to announce that it has once again secured the Haitian band RAM to headline its Bal Masqué fundraiser, set for the weekend of January 18th and 19th, 2019 at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans. The celebration of Caribbean, Cajun and New Orleans Carnival will feature RAM, the drum-roots-driven powerhouse band from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. RAM will be joined by The Vermilionaires, Cha Wa, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, and The Roots of Music. “We are so excited to bring RAM to Bal Masqué once again, not only because they brought the house down last year, but because of our shared culture and history,” states Chef Donald Link, Co-Founder of the Link Stryjewski Foundation with Chef Stephen Stryjewski. “I am about to embark on a trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to participate in the first edition of GEDE FEST, an innovative event that combines the arts, culture, history and gastronomy of Haiti and New Orleans. We are historically linked to this sister city and I am thrilled to represent New Orleans at this multicultural event.” In addition to Bal Masqué, the Link Stryjewski Foundation presents its Chefs’ Dinner with celebrity chef Andrew Carmellini on the evening before the main event. The limited seating dinner will be hosted at Calcasieu on Friday, January 18th, with a four-course menu prepared by Chef Carmellini alongside Chefs Link and Stryjewski. Specific details about the culinary and cocktail offerings at Bal Masqué, and the celebrity chefs presenting them, will be released at a later date.

RAM’s ancient, folkloric polyrhythms intertwine harmoniously with rock guitar riffs and swinging Caribbean keyboard melodies. They have been performing all over the world for more than 26 years. Vermilionaires is the Cajun dancehall offshoot of brothers and founders of Lost Bayou Ramblers, Andre and Louis Michot. Cha Wa, the iconic Mardi Gras Indian funk band, is known for combining two of New Orleans’ best traditions: Mardi Gras Indians and street level funk music. The Original Pinettes Brass Band is a powerhouse all-female brass band. Hailing from New Orleans, this local 7-piece band has played contemporary brass music all around the world. Roots of Music empowers New Orleans youth through music education, academic support, and mentorship, while preserving and promoting the unique musical heritage of our city. In addition to the musical entertainment, International School of Louisiana BeauCoup Circus Arts students, New Orleans burlesque icon Trixie Minx, and the Merry Antoinettes Mardi Gras krewe have been invited to bring their versions of carnival fun.

“Music brings something different to every person, but the music at this event brings together people who are committed, like us, to transforming the lives of New Orleans’ youth,’ states Stryjewski. “Bal Masqué provides the support we need to offer better opportunities for the children in our community.” The Link Stryjewski Foundation was created to address the persistent cycles of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. The Link Stryjewski Foundation provides support to organizations that directly work to end these cycles which hold New Orleans youth back from realizing their full potential.