Steamboat Natchez calliope, silent during COVID-19, returns to honor Ellis Marsalis


NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) — The iconic calliope aboard the Steamboat Natchez has long been a staple of the waterfront and the French Quarter, but it has fallen silent since the COVID-19 crisis began. That changed Friday as the calliope was reawakened to pay tribute to jazz legend Ellis Marsalis, who died from COVID-19 complications earlier this week.

Veteran calliope player Debbie Fagnano played a few of Marsalis’ favorites and several other classic New Orleans songs. the public was invited to listen in from their balconies, though the Steamboat Natchez remains closed to the public.

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