Since Allen Toussaint lost everything at his home and studio in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the producer, songwriter and pianist has entered a performing renaissance.
Ten years ago, the a life-long resident of the Big Easy initially had no intention of evacuating for the storm, and instead checked into a hotel on the French Quarter's Canal Street.
"I thought I would be here and take this hurricane like all of the rest," Toussaint told State of Wonder from his rebuilt home studio in New Orleans, "except for martial law. We had to leave."
He returned to his home to find everything he owned was covered in a thick gray residue, including his Steinway piano. Given the magnitude of the loss, Toussaint was phenomenally philosophical.
"Nothing was saved, but I was OK because everything I'd had served me well to that day," he said. "I'm here and let's get going and see what happens now."
He headed for New York, which he calls "a wonderful place to be if you have to be someplace else for a while." And, first at benefit shows and then more broadly, he began performing again — something he hadn't done in years.
"All of this was kind of new for me," said Toussaint. "I guess I’m about 10 years old — however old Katrina is, that’s how old I am on stage."
Listen for Saturday's show to hear more about how Toussaint said he's found another side of himself onstage since 2005. Show's on Saturday at noon.