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NEWORLEANS-- The Hot 8 Brass Band is taking a break from music. Band founder and leader Bennie Pete announced that a serious illness will prevent him from performing.

The band will stop touring effective immediately, until Pete's health improves.

'The Hot 8 Brass Band has been my life for 20 years,' said Pete, 38.

'I've played to audiences all over the world. I've loved and lost band members I thought of as brothers. But as a new father, I have some new perspectives on the life I was leading and the lives of a lot of New Orleans musicians. We are in danger every day in these violent streets everybody knows that. But we put ourselves in danger, too, by disrespecting ourselves with unhealthy lifestyles.'

Pete says he has struggled with poor health for the past two years.

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