'Big Apple' Concert For Katrina $$

Art Garfunkel, left, and Paul Simon perform during the "From the Big Apple to the Big Easy" benefit concert, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005, in New York's Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
Jimmy Buffett said egos were checked at the door.

Allen Toussaint said he's lost everything in his New Orleans home to floodwaters but that he's eager to go back and start over.

John Fogerty said sending money for hurricane relief would not have been enough for him.

All three were among the galaxy of stars playing sold-out Katrina relief benefits Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in New York. The concert was called "From the Big Apple to the Big Easy, New York City's Concert for the Gulf Coast."

Elvis Costello says there's been a wonderful spirit among musicians responding to the calamity.

Among the others on the bill: Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, Bette Midler, Diana Krall and Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews, Tom Waits, Trey Anastasio, John Meyer, along with New Orleans fixtures Ry Cooder, Buckwheat Zydeco, Irma Thomas and the Neville Brothers.

Also on stage was former President Clinton, who teamed up with former President George H. W. Bush after the hurricane - just as they did after the south Asia tsunami - to raise funds for the relief effort.

Instead of asking the audience to donate money, concert organizers arranged to collect donations up front: through ticket sales and by making the concert a pay-per-view event on cable TV.

Major cable operators are to give all proceeds to hurricane relief efforts. Madison Square Garden, in addition, will donate one million dollars.

The concert was the latest of a blizzard of efforts by celebrities to harness their fame to help Katrina's victims in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Here are a few of the fundraisers coming up in the next few weeks:

  • Death Cab for Cutie will play a benefit concert in Seattle Wednesday.
  • Martha Stewart is selling blue and red ponchos of her own design on, with profits to go through the MSLO Foundation to organizations that help woman and families in need, including Hurricane Katrina victims.
  • Chefs for Humanity, an organization created by the Food Network's "Iron Chef" Cat Cora, is holding an eBay auction, which ends Wednesday, to raise money for UNICEF's Hurricane Katrina relief fund.
  • "Gospel Angels: A Concert to Restore Hope" will air Thursday (8 p.m. EDT) on the Gospel Music Channel, the Worship Network and Paxson Communications' i network.
  • The New Yorker will host "Parting the Waters," a Saturday benefit in New York featuring music and readings inspired by the artistic culture of the Bayou. Participants include Lou Reed, Woody Allen, Elvis Costello, Kevin Kline and Toni Morrison.
  • Film critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper will host a preview screening of "Walk the Line" in Chicago on Sunday. Tickets are $100 each, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross.
  • Dashboard Confessional will play a benefit concert Sept. 28 in Sayreville, N.J.
  • Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis will perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 29 in Detroit. Connick and Marsalis, both Habitat for Humanity honorary chairs, will donate all proceeds to "Operation Home Delivery," Habitat's long-term Gulf Coast rebuilding plan.
  • Hollywood Poker, an online Web site for poker playing, will match the prize pool for every Michael Woods Celebrity Invitational and Hollywood Poker Celebrity Classic tournament in September. The proceeds will go to the Red Cross and Dennis Quaid's International Hospital for Children Foundation.
  • CMT will host a benefit concert Oct. 1 (8 p.m. EDT) with participants to include George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson and Martina McBride. Taking place at Reliant Stadium in Houston, the "One Country" concert will be shown live on the country music network. CMT and CBS are both part of Viacom.
  • "Mississippi Rising," a concert to benefit the Mississippi and Louisiana Hurricane Recovery Funds, will be held Oct. 1 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. Celebrities expected to appear include Morgan Freeman, Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Sela Ward, Jason Alexander and Kathie Lee Gifford.