Marsha A. Boudy, the Chief Adminstrative Officer of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., passed away on May 31 after suffering a heart attack. She was 61 years old.
Marsha was born in New Orleans on July 14, 1954. She attended McDonogh 35 Senior High School, graduating in 1972, and attended Southern University at New Orleans.
She began working at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation - the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell - in 1982, working there for the remainder of her career and rising to the position of Chief Administrative Officer.
Marsha was known by friends and colleagues as a tireless supporter of the music and culture of New Orleans.
Possessed of great faith and quiet confidence, she was shy of the limelight and a friend to all. Despite having dealt with several health issues over the last few years, her response to the question, “How are you?” was always the same: “I’m blessed.”
During her long tenure at the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Marsha helped the organization to become a uniting force in a diverse community. Her efforts to develop many initiatives improved the quality of life for people young and old in the greater New Orleans area. As a key organizer of the foundation’s long-running Raising the Roof program, she assisted many New Orleans musicians and culture-bearers to become first-time home-buyers. Her work on the foundation’s SEED program contributed to economic development in the community by providing start-up financing to entrepreneurs in the arts. Through her oversight of the foundation’s Community Partnership Grants, she helped to distribute Jazz Fest profits to many worthy educational and cultural programs. As the producer of the foundation’s various “street festivals” in the Treme, Lower 9th Ward and Uptown neighborhoods, she worked to bring the community together with music and culture.
In 2012, Marsha was nominated by her colleagues to be a Young Leadership Council Role Model. She became a member of the 2013 class of YLC Role Models. YLC stated in a release that Marsha "truly believed that music unites all souls of the world."
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 9:30a at Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel, 2601 Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70122, followed by a Second Line Jazz Procession. Visitation with the family is at 8a.
A Repast will follow at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 North Rampart Street. All musicians are invited to bring their instruments to participate in a Jazz Session honoring Marsha Alexander Boudy starting at 11:30a.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, 1205 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, or online at www.jazzandheritage.org.