KUFARU AARON MOUTON
August 29, 1949 - June 12, 2006
TRIBUTES

kufaru
kufaru
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Thanks to everyone who came and those who wanted to come...
Please send photos and videos to tribute@kufaru.com

kufaru aaron mouton

Known to many of you as Kufaru, known to me as, Aaron, my brother. I have so many fond memories growing up with him. I can remember watching him in the backyard perfecting his karate moves, but my most precious memory is the song he composed and sung, just for me, "Skinny Minny", and to this day, it still holds true and we joked about that just months ago.

Aaron, I've always loved you and you'll forever be with me.

Love your, baby sister AKA, Skinny Minny (Marina Gayle)

My name is Bar Dell and I loved my brother Aaron, as much as I have loved my other brothers and father who have passed on. Aaron (Kufaru) was very special to me in that we were both musicians (and dancers). Not long ago, we spoke via telephone for nearly four hours. It was during that time wherein I learned how learned he was in matters of the spirit. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that he shared with me. Always he encouraged me to be who I was. I kind of think he loved me more than any of my other siblings but then I think that Kufaru was just the type of man who had great love for everyone ... he made everyone feel kind of special. I am so proud to say that Kufaru is/was my brother. It is his strength that supports me today during my own difficult moments of understanding.

What is important is faith expressing itself in Love--Galatians 5:6

Aaron(Kufaru) lived next door to me, Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard. he was one of many friends to my son. They would dance in my living room teaching one another the latest dance craze in the 1960's. Aaron taught me how to do the twist the latest dance at that time. We danced until we twisted a hole in my carpet. I purchased a new carpet the new house rule no dancing on the carpet. Aaron Kufaru as a young boy was well-mannered and polite. He had a god given gift his music. He could make a good beat from a tin can. After high school he went to the Air Force he later came home to see me in Queens NY. He was still well mannered and still in love with his music. Yes, Aaron Kufaru lived the life he loved and loved the life he lived through his music.

Absent from the body present with the Lord To God be the glory
-- Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard, A close friendly neighbor

I ran into Kufaru outside of HOB several weeks ago and he told me his hurricane story and that one of the good things that he experienced was reconnecting with his family. In memory of a beautiful, gentle and humble brother - Kufaru!

How sad and shocking to hear that his smiling face and tall carriage won't be seen in New Orleans anymore, but his soul certainly will be felt. Kufaru was the kind of person who always was caring and had the time to talk to a person, whether it was inside Cafe Brasil, or Croissant D'or, or in front of the House of Blues where he worked. He will be remembered and missed by many. He was so much a part of the music scene in the Marigny.

We should not be so sad for him. It sounds as if he left this plane on a very happy note and quickly.

Much love and prayers,
-- Maria Celado
New Orleans and now San Francisco


Thanks for setting up the site in memory of Kufaru. I was really saddened to hear about his passing. I know he had struggled with his health, but all the times I saw him this spring he looked great and had that same beautiful vibe he always did. Very sad to hear about him and Scott Thomas, another wonderful musician that I looked up to who always had a place for me under his wing. Great losses to our community.

My memories of Kufaru
Kufaru was one of the first musicians I met in N.O., about 13 years ago when I used to play on Jackson Square. Kufaru came out with a snare and a high hat one day and just lit everything up with his vibe. From that day on he always let me know he was a friend.

He was a truly sweet person. You were always better off for being around him, whether it was on a gig or hauling gear at H.O.B., or just hanging out and enjoying the beauty of what is life in New Orleans.

He always made me feel good about myself, and helped to see the good in others more clearly. I will miss him a lot.

Goodbye to a good friend and a great spirit.
-- Marc Stone

Kufaru, like his unusual and singular name, was an unusual and singular musical force on the New Orleans music scene. I remember that when those of us that were much younger than he showed up on the scene he was always very fast to see what we were doing and feel alright about it. At the time that was a very warm feeling gesture. He not only saw what the contribution of younger musicians were but then also tried to integrate with them and musically join them. No matter where he was, what kind of gigs he was playing, what kind of jobs he was doing he looked at himself as a student and learner. This humility was one of his most moving and memorable traits. Yet, although showing incredible humility he never backed away from delivering all the energy and ebullience into situations that moved him. This came through in his incredible animated dancing as well as his drumming.

Generosity in music takes many different forms but one of the most clear is the urge to teach youngsters about the art. There was a tour that the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars were without our usual drummer and Kufaru, again very enthusiastically, agreed to take the gruelling road trip out to California with us for a few small time hits in N. California. One of the jobs was to be an early morning at a small school for young children. Kufaru, who was really just a fill in in the band, was so absorbed in teaching the children that while at first his gesturing and lecturing seemed out of place the love and joy in him took over to where it seemed like the perfect thing. One of the last times that I talked to Kufaru (not too long ago) he was bugging me for a klezmer t-shirt which I was so happy to run and get for him because I remembered this time so fondly. After i gave it to him we sat and battled through trying to understand the work of so many musicians all through the years in town.

He used to come up with little stanzas about the Frenchmen St. scene that were very funny and really showed so much enjoyment of what was a confluence of different forces at that time in that neighborhood. Sometimes even when you can't make head or tail of the forces that bring somebody in to a place you can be amazed at how seamlessly they seem to grow out of the ground of the situation that they are currently in. It was hard to question how he came to be there because he was so naturally in place. This might have been because of his peaceful demeanor or a whole lot of factors, but even if hard to understand, it was beautiful to see.

I am glad to have met him, played with him, and thankful to whoever sent him and hope he enjoyed some happiness from the gift that he gave us by his presence.
-- Jonathan Freilich

I ran into Kufaru outside of HOB several weeks ago and he told me his hurricane story and that one of the good things that he experienced was reconnecting with his family.

Seems like this is one of the lingering Katrina effects---many of us reconnected with our families.

Kufaru was another one of those spirits that was attracted to HOB and gave life to the House of Blues mission. "Celebrating the African-American contributions to music", this lofty goal is missed by most but made alive by people like Kufaru..who lived the mission that HOB adopted. I will miss running into Kufaru on Frenchmen St...drawn by the beats of his drums.
-- LT

My Family and I want to say that Kufaru will be missed by Us, He was a good Friend, and when I was not around Ara would always say, if She was in the Quarter, She say, Kufaru would keep an eye on them, He will truly be missed be all.

"may your groove be phat"
-- AraLean & George Porter, Jr.


hello my name is "SHAGGY" i have known kufaru for at least 12yrs . he was a good friend of mine and i miss him so much already!! i have a 8yr old daughter named sophia when she was about 4yrs old we were hangin out on frenchmen one mardi gras day, sophia was playing a drum and dancing around with everyone. a couple of days later i recived a phone call from kufaru he asked me to come visit him and he told me to bring sophia. so i did when we got to his place he had sophia sit down and he disappeared. when he came back he had a small jimbe? drum 2 give to sophia. she was stoked and very happy! he said he enjoyed watching her drum that day and wanted to give her a drum of her own!! he was a great man and a killer drummer!! i saw him in the 2nd week of may , he said he was feelin great and his heart was good . he said he was playin music with some new folks. HE WILL BE MISSED!!!
-- SHAGGY 504-259-1472


I remember Kufaru to be a gentle man with a sweet smile and a kind word for everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and freinds. I know his spirit will be flying high as you march to Cafe Brasil.
--Sincerely, Stephanie.

....We spent a lot of time together playing music and sharing stories. i was really young when i lnaded in new orleans and he self-appointed himself as one of my mentors and protectors in the male-dominated world of percussionists...... wishing him a peaceful journey.
-- Dalia

This was sad news, as I have known Kufaru for many years. thanks and regards,
-greg

Kufaru was a special person to me and always was so kind and warmhearted
often we played together @ Cafe Brazil in my early years as a musician.
Kufaru was on the first percussionist i'd ever played with and showed me so much about how to just relax groove w/ another musician. Such a sweet man. He always looked out for us youngsters down in New Orleans.
God bless you Kufaru. -geoff clapp

My memories with Kufaru all have been pleasant.I never knew when and where I would see him,but when I did,I always had time to talk.He had this way of calling my name and we always were excited to see eachother.Working at Dragon's Den-I got to see him alot but the thing I will miss most will be Mardi Gras Day.I make huge,heavy, intense costumes and usually by mid day-I get a little antisocial.I always saw him on Frenchman and it was the same every year.I would sit down next to him-listen to his drums-take off my headpiece and gather myself.I remember him not ever talking too much at that time,but would smile, and normally I was a bit tipsy-so It was a comfort zone.Kufaru always treated me the same-as a real person,and was always interested in what I had to say.My last memory of him will always be in my head.I was riding down towards the quarter-Hart and Kufaru were playing music on Hart's front step.It struck me that day and I almost stopped to listen.Something was different about that song.It was somewhat etheral.I'm not sure if that was the last song for him to drum-but it was intense.I will miss him-there is no other Kufaru...
-- Jacquelyn Mang

I used to play in a group with Kufaru in the early 80's in N.O. with Ralph Gipson on sax and flute,Jim Cane on bass and myself Steve Rohbock on piano keyboards. He will be missed

when kufaru played.you looked into his soul.and every time i played with him i liked what i saw.i used to mess with him and call him a cross between E.T.(long ass fingers)and Bill Cosby.Kufaru i miss you.
love -- mc

I remember how much joy Kufaru brought to my life:
I remember the way he would call out my name whenever I saw him "Sa-RAAAAHHH!" as if our every encounter was a grand entrance.

I remember the way he hummed loudly in my ear when we danced. (Okay, so he hummed little off-key. He was a percussionist, not a singer!) And the way he taught me to be led (which is a big deal for a big-legged woman who likes to take control). How expertly he led, too—and how I relished letting myself go to that dance. (Oh, to dance with Kufi!)

I remember getting to know Kufaru better on a1999 cruise to Mexico (he was playing with the house band, Mas Mamones, and I was along for the ride.) Kufaru got a kick out of my shooting birds at Manny ...and a kick out of ogling us ladies in our swimsuits. "Oh my goodness," he would say, giving us once-over, all breathless admiration. One didn't mind an ogling from Kufaru. One felt beautiful.

I remember when I asked how Kufaru was doing each time I saw him, he would give me that once-over and say, "I'm better, now!" When I feigned modesty and told him to cut out the ogling he would say, "I can't help it. I'm just a knucklehead." From then on I called him Knucklehead—my term of endearment for Kufi.

One memory that I think of now is of the night I told Kufaru about the death of our good friend, Sam Trice, who'd introduced me to Kufaru. Sam was a lover of music, and a good man, to boot. One night shortly after Sam's death I was working at the Den and Kufaru was playing percussion with LosVecinos (I think.) I hadn't told Kufi yet about Sam's suicide, and I was in that really rough, right-after-the-death stage ... seeing Sam everywhere, feeling dumbfounded ... like I'd had an appendage cut off, but I was still trying to use it.

When I looked over to the corner of the dance floor that night, I saw my Sam, dancing. After the gig ended, I told Kufaru about Sam. He couldn't believe it. "Wasn't he here tonight?" he asked. "He was and he wasn't." I said. Kufaru nodded. "Man," he said. "Damn!"

I think it will be like that for me now. I'll hear some band—some rhythm—and I'll see Kufi dancing. He'll be there and he won't be. He'll lead me and he won't. And as I dance I'll remember him and think, Damn, Knucklehead! Damn!

Finally, as one does, I remember The Last Time I Saw Him. Kufaru was standing on the corner of Frenchman and Chartres Street, and Jackie and I drove by with a truckload of decorations we'd salvaged from our beloved Dragon's Den. The paper mache mermaid that once sat on the bar rode in the truck bed, her snake's head pointing east. Kufaru looked at that mermaid (Nemesis was her name, I think) with a glimmer of recognition—and then he saw me, driving.

"What's up, Ku-FIIIIII!" I called. "Sa-RAAAAHHH!" "See you, Knucklehead!" I yelled back. I remember...and this comforts me now...that we were both smiling.
--Sarah DeBacher

I'm not sure exactly when I first met Kufaru (maybe in 1991 at check point charlie's) Regardless, I now feel like I've always known him. I think he had that effect on people. We played at jams here and there and for a brief period he played drums (trap set) with me at Magaritaville and on Bourbon Street at the now gone Jazz Cafe. During that time my Mother came to visit me and since I was gigging 7 days a week with several rotating band members, I introduced her to lot of musicians. When she came to the venue, Fufaru went to sit at her table and chatted with her like they were old friends. Of course he forever after always asked me "How's your Mom? She's a cool lady" He was just so very thoughtful, kind. And funny. When something tickled him he would clutch your forearm, look you deep in the eye and laugh a laugh that could make you cry.

In 1999 We recorded a Cd together called "Sunday Rhumba". The subtle simplicity and drive he added locking in with Herman Ernest put the magic in the mambo. He was one very beautiful person whom I was lucky to have known and played music with. New Orleans will never be the same after Katrina - but it will also be different for a lot of people without "Ku"(sounds like Cool).

We are going to miss him indeed.
--Andy J Forest June 22, 2006


My son played at Cafe Brasil With Kufaru on many a weekend. I just saw Kufaru jamming next door at my apartment complex, less than two weeks ago. As always, he hugged me and then played on. What a kindhearted talented man this man was........you will always be remembered forever in the hearts of all whom you have met. I feel blessed to have been considered one of your friends.
-Linda.

Peter: I played the best steel drum with Kufaru playing on congas.....Kufaru also played excellent Kit Drums, 'specially in Soca and Reggae styles, along with the usual second line drumming and more interpretive modern Jazz style. Also brilliant Shekere' (gourd with string net of beads . shells) Also beautiful redorded jingles playing vibraphone and marimbas.
Delia: Peter, where are those recordings?
Peter: I'm not sure.
Delia: I only met Kufaru last year in the spring before the storm.....but he was so kind and that is what I remember about him most......we will try to make it to the second line, joining the NOLA community in reverence for a great man.
-- Delia and Peter, June 20, 2006

I really loved Kufaru so much. Today I'm so sad to learn we lost him.
-- Charlie Miller

I'll be there at the second line in spirit, if not in the flesh.
-- tony green

Thank you for keeping me informed about the events and passing of friends. I pray that Kufaru is resting now in Divine company. So quickly life passes from us. We must make the most of everyday and live out our bliss. Kufaru was doing that and making so many people happy with his music and teaching the craft to the younger generation so it would not be lost. How lucky he is not to have suffered a long illness but how sad we are to lose one of the best God has to offer. Seems like the saying "only the good die young" is becoming more and more true to me everyday. Stay strong. Live in Peace.
Love you. - Suzy

I am in NYC , and will be sure to honor our friend at a crossroads in Central ParK in solidarity with the jazz funeral. I wish I could come home !

Kufaru was like an uncle or a brother for me. He was encouraging,and supportive. He was kind, and loving.

I know he was a man with regrets when it came to the women he had loved , and He was not afraid to confess his mistakes- before running towards the door that Death had shown him.

May he be at peace. I , and We will all miss him very much.
Ashe!
Peace be with you!
-- Ahda

Thank you Kufaru
Your generous joyful, powerful soul
That knows how to lift the spirit within
That knows the power of belief,
And knows to read the heartbeat.
Thank you for your teachings
And for being my rhythm keeper
You are a true spirit caller.
Lorna, Israel
Met Kufaru during my stay in N.O in '93,
This special man who saw life through color & sound
and released his visions with a playful joy.
Peace to his heart


I can't believe I won't see your sweet face when I come to visit. It was always such a special thing to run into you when I was in town. In fact, I always thought it was good mojo. If I saw you early in my trip, I knew everything was going to be just fine. If I heard you play the drums, double happiness!

Thank you for being so warm and kind to me, Kufaru. You made me feel like an old friend even though I had only known you for a few short years.

My heart will be at that Second Line for you. Oh, I am going to miss you so.
-- Linda in SF


I have only recently gotten to know Kufaru. In the short time I did have the priveledge of knowing him, it felt like we were old friends. He was that kind of person, that welcomed you into friendship and made you feel as if you had been expected and anticipated. A person you could never forget even after only a short meeting.
-- Keith Falgout



I met Kufaru in the early 70's. I suppose he had just arrived. There was a group of Muslims by the name of Shree Sun Rays that dressed all in white. I didn't even know what a Muslim was. It didn't matter. They embraced my white skin and I was treated as one of their own. Shariif, Kenyatta, Bindu and others are now all scattered far and wide. The Sun Rays played at Jazz Fest and congo square and anywhere they could lay their drums down it was on. Totally improvised and totally intense the sessions would go on for hours. Think Cafe Brazil Mardi Gras. These cats played that way every day. I was holding on for dear life. I think Kufaru was really getting his chops from these cats and his was giving them his great spirit. It was a wonderful time to be young and free to express yourself musically and I am sure Kufaru felt the same way. When I heard that he had just moved into his own apartment and decorated it I thought that was a lovely way to go. Bless you my brother.
-- Roy Maggio

I can't remember when I met Kufaru
seems like I've known him forever
We played together so many times
this past Mardi Gras was so wonderful
spent most of the day jammin' on our corner
got some great photos of him
when I gave him prints he was so greatful
I had the chance to spend a day recently with Kufaru
I ran into him on Frenchmen
he helped me carry my drums
told me he needed a ride to Kenner
to pick up a new drum at Ray Fransen's
an honor to help deliver Kafaru's new baby
we played around and he bought alot of stuff
we went to Guitar Center to pick up some toys
he said he needed a keyboard stand
I told him I have an extra one uptown he could have
Sharon was outside when we drove up
when she saw Kufaru I knew I didn't have to explain where I've been
we sat in the garden and had coffee
he told us stories about his Mother's garden and trying to help her tend to it her way
Kafaru really did look that day alot better than he had been
I took him home to the Bywater
he showed me his new instruments of joy played for me made me take gas money gave me a lil conga fridge magnet and then that massive hug
Kufaru has taken my place when I'd miss a gig
I could never take his place
I've tried to learn as much from Kufaru as I could
I begged him to teach me
he always told me Don't think so much play what you feel in your heart
WE LOVE KAFARU!
-- Hubie Vigreux

Kufaru
it's hard to believe a New Orleans
without you
i was so looking forward
to you being my neighbor
to that dinner you promised
you just checked out so fast!
no time for goodbyes
i hope you like your website
we all miss you
hope you are having a great time
love, zé

I met Kufaru when I was the newest member of Kumbuka and learned alot from him about drumming and generating positive energy on stage. I consider him definately one of the most talented and SPIRITED percussionists on the New Orleans scene. I am eternally indebted and grateful to Kufuru for two things: firstly he helped me start the band that eventually became Saudade which continues to perform for samba lovers of New Orleans; secondly, Kufaru was the solo percussionist playing at my wedding ceramony in 2002 which was a pivotal moment in my life that was blessed by his presence. I last saw him at Mardi Gras 2006 and it was great to feel the love from someone who was always positive, especially during these difficult post Katrina days. Kufaru will be sorely missed by many. Blake Amos

I was so saddened to read about Kufaru's passing. I met him (and you) in the late eighties when I played tambourine with Casa Samba. He was always such a kind soul. Those were happy days for me. Even years later when I was near Cafe Brasil, if our paths crossed, it made my day brighter. Looking at the wonderful web-site and checking the messages and tributes was very helpful to me. And, I hope the tributes will be a comfort to his family and close friends......
-Bonnie K.

i have a lot of stories to have put up on kufaru's site but i haven't been able to clear my head and let it all flow out yet. i interviewed him at one point.. sitting at flora's cafe.. but i have no idea where that ever went.

He was and still is amazing to me... I miss him and hope he's flyin free above us all now.
-Amy Elkins

I wish I could be there tonight...work keeps my body away, but my heart will be dancing in line...
-- peace. Bill Dykes

To all that is pure and just, Kufaru was that being. His soul and spirit will be remembered by all who had the pleasure of being exposed to it.

I will miss you brother,
-- Smitty


Kufaru was a good friend, when I had no confidence in myself, he did. I will truly miss his sense of humor and his sense of honor. He never said anything bad about anybody. I believe in heaven and I know that he is there. I will miss him.
Peace, Jim Smith


I met Kufaru on Frenchmen Street (where else?) about six years ago. I had heard him play congas (and, oh, the cowbell!) and always loved his spirit of enthusiasm for music and dance. He said he liked to tour, so I begged him to travel around Colorado and California with my band Idletime. Cramped in a fifteen passenger van with him and four other musicians for weeks at a time off and on for more than three years, I got to know better the spirit of Kufaru as well as the man himself, Aaron Oscar Mouton. He became something of a father figure to all of us younger cats, passing along healthy doses of advice and wisdom to us based on his own life's experiences, a life of so many highs and lows. He taught me as much about life as he did about the rhythms of all music, which amounts to a great deal for me and is something I will never forget.

Last November, I discovered that he was hanging around outside Houston at his family's home in Pearland, Texas, displaced from his home, with no real focus, a fish out of water, so to speak. He called me out of the blue one day from his old cell phone, which he had recently re-connected. I picked him up at a bus stop and introduced him to the nightlife of downtown Houston. Naturally, everyone on the scene loved him instantly, but it just wasn't the same as the Marigny. He stayed at my apartment for a few days, catching up and trying to make sense of everything.

A few weeks later, I drove him back to NOLA to pick up his rusted bell & block stands & mounts and haul them to his mother's home outside Houston. It tore my heart out to see his instruments so tarnished, but it never seemed to get him down. At the end of the journey I met his family, as sweet and supportive a group of people as anyone could ask for, though I must admit it was, at first, a shock to hear all his brothers and sisters calling him "Aaron." Somewhere along the drive to Pearland he said he was proud of what I had accomplished, and though I didn't really know what accomplishments he was talking about, hearing it from him meant the world. I'm going to miss that old man and his undying spirit. I think the whole city will miss him with me.
-- Tom Leggett, New Orleans

Kufaru will be missed in New Orleans. Absolutely everybody knew him. He always had a warm hug for me, a genuine respect for drummers and drumming. I only regret that I did not take the opportunity to play with Kufaru more ... I'm sure there was so much I could have learned from him, musically and spiritually. Kufaru, I know you've gone to a better place, but I really wish you were still here.
-doug garrison

Kufaru has always had this persona that would make me feel like I was in a comfort zone. I would always kid him about being Bill Cosby's look alike. Kufaru would always smile and say "No, you think so?". We made wonderful music together and had good conversations about living....simply, just living, praising the blessings and trying to keep our sanity with all the obstacles that present themselves. I remember the last time I saw him in front of the Sanger Theater. I remember that smile…that wonderful smile.

As Kufaru and I would always say "Much Love",
-- Ms. T, Theresa Patin, The Revealers

I had the pleasure to know Kufaru through my work. Kufaru Mouton was the percussionist for the International House of Blues Foundation's music history program the Blues SchoolHouse. For the past 5 years, three mornings a week Kufaru tapped out the rhythms. He loved the interaction with the students, their laughter and smiles revitalized him. With his years of experience Kufaru brought a sense of patience and knowledge to the program. Even during the period when his health wasn't good, he still wanted to work. Music was his life. I was unsure if he would be able to return to New Orleans following Katrina, and return to the Blues SchoolHouse program. On the February morning when he walked in the door for that rehearsal following Katrina, he brought sunshine to the room. I will truly miss seeing him on the stage, his encouragement of the students, and his bright smile and laugh.
-- Julie Stahly, Program Director
IHOBF-New Orleans

on behalf of martin butler, brian blade and myself, i would like to say that kufaru was an inspiration and a very good friend. i won't bore you with stories, mostly because we just sat around and talked about stuff. he was easy going, sincere and extremely generous. simply put, a beautiful soul. i'm very glad that i ran into him just a few weeks ago, while i was visiting the crescent. truthfully, it felt like i had just seen him the night before!
-- sincerely, antoine drye

I first met Kufaru on Frenchmen St about 15 years ago. I was from out of town and would come to hear latin music and did not know anyone. He was one of the first people I ever met in New Orleans before moving here 8 years ago. Kufaru and I drummed many times both on club gigs and in the streets. I always looked up to him not only for his drumming skills but also for his showing me what it was to be a kind, considerate man who was passionate about life. I last saw him at Freret St festival just a few weeks ago and we shared the same good energy as we did the first time I met him. During the second line parade, I looked over in front of Cafe Nicaud and expected to see him sitting there waving to us as we marched by. I will miss seeing his familiar face and smile when I go down to Marigny. Boa viagem Kufaru.
-- Allen Frost

“…let his going from us serve only to bring us together, now.” *
* From: Ossie Davis, “Eulogie for Malcolm X”, February 1965.
Kufaru was the light in the door along Frenchmen Street. I met him in the mid to late 1980s when he lived on Decatur Street, around the corner from Cafe Brasil and behind Michael Fedor's Galerie Avant Gout and George Febres' gallery. The visual art and music scene was equally palpable and Kufaru and Tracy Thomson were the elegant couple of the time, a study in contrasts. Fair and freckled Tracy designed beautiful clothes and chapeaux in silks as well as mudcloth. Kufaru was stunning in the dhotis and dashikis that he and Tracy would put together and he would wear to art openings and drumming circles.

In 1990, Kufaru always came by our club “SNAP!” (downstairs, in the former Blue Nile and at the time it was called Café Istanbul) after his Saturday night gigs. Suleyman and my former deceased husband Clint Peltier made it clear from the day we opened that Kufaru would never be charged a cover. (God knows I tried to shake everyone else down for $5.) “Kufaru is a prince of man!” we'd say.

In front of Café Brasil at Monday night's second line finale, I met Kufaru's aunt and one of his “double cousins”. It turns out that Kufaru's mom and her sister married brothers, Kufaru's dad and uncle. Then, Kufaru's dad died when he was 2 years old and his aunt raised him until his mom remarried and came to bring him back to live with her when he turned 5. “I had him enrolled in kindergarten, and I was raising him. I loved like my own son….” his aunt explained. “When he changed his name to Kufaru, I still wanted to call him Aaron because I had known him as Aaron since he was a little kid.”

Kufaru, I can only smile when I think of the love you are bringing to those who left before you to the great beyond.
-- Peace and love always, Amy Wilson, June 28, 2006, in occupied New Orleans.

Like many others, I met Kufaru hangin' on Frenchmen. I played at Checkpoint Charlie's a lot in the mid 90's and Kufaru sometimes hung out there. We shared cheese fries, smokes and conversation. Nothing seemed to important not to share. In fact, one night I was playing solo at Checkpoint and Kufaru quietly sat beside me on the stage and began joining in. It was such a pleasure to play with him and get to know him. May he rest in peace.
- Pete Alba

Peace be with Kufaru. - Victor Atkins

kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru mouton kufaru


PEACE OUT