At the close of last week, it was reported that members of Galactic had purchased legendary New Orleans venue Tipitina’s, and today the band and former Tip’s owners Mary and Roland von Kurnatowski confirmed the news with a joint statement.
“Our goal is to preserve, promote, and protect the future of New Orleans music, culture and heritage via the Tipitina’s venue and brand,” Galactic drummer Stanton Moore says, laying out the band’s intentions with their hometown institution that was founded in 1977 by a group of music lovers as a place to host music from iconic keyboardist Professor Longhair and others (Tipitina’s gets its name from a Professor Longhair tune).
“We’re so incredibly honored to be part of the team tasked to be the current caretakers of such a historic venue,” saxophonist Ben Ellman adds. “My connection with the club started way before I was lucky enough to take the stage. My first job in New Orleans was at Tipitina’s as a cook in the (now defunct) kitchen. The importance of respecting what Tip’s means for musicians and the city of New Orleans is not lost on us. We’re excited for the future of the club and look forward to all the amazing music and good times ahead!”
Roland von Kurnatowski also notes: “We received multiple attractive offers for Tipitina’s. It was really important to us to ensure that this club, the icon that is Tipitina’s, end up in the right hands. We purchased the club in 1997 and have nurtured it ever since. We’re confident that Galactic is the right fit—that they will cherish Tipitina’s and take it to the next level while protecting all that makes Tips such an authentic American cultural venue.”
As previously reported, the purchase does not include the von Kurnatownski’s Tipitina’s Foundation, which will continue to support youth music education around New Orleans.