[jja-announce] message from the Jazz Foundation of America
Jazzmandel at aol.com
Jazzmandel at aol.com
Wed Aug 30 09:02:12 EDT 2006
Hi people -- you know we don't usually forward other groups' notes via
jja-announce, but the Jazz Foundation has really been providing outstanding service,
and our ties with them continue to be good for everyone (they're on the case
supporting some journalists in need, too). Here's what they sent out yesterday
stay dry, Howard
August 29, 2006
Hello Good People:
Today is the Anniversary of Katrina. I just thought you'd like a copy of
this, so you could see all you have helped us to achieve, all the miracles we made
possible, all because of YOU...
If you can, allow yourselves the time to read the entire release, the "Quotes
from New Orleans" and the "Musician's Story" are something you won't want to
miss because YOU directly effected their lives...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Wendy Oxenhorn
The Jazz Foundation of America
212-245-3999 Ext. 27
Wendy at jazzfoundation.org <mailto:Wendy at jazzfoundation.org
151 1st Ave.
NY NY 10003
phone 212 533 9495
cell 212 533 4952
One Year Later …
Saving New Orleans … One Musician at a Time
New York, NY – August 2006 – For 17 years the Jazz Foundation of America
has been an organization at the forefront of providing emergency assistance and
long-term support to veteran jazz and blues musicians across the country.
Katrina left countless New Orleans musicians and their families unemployed and
homeless, with their lives literally washed away.
“The Jazz Foundation has been a lifesaver to so many musicians from New
Orleans, giving them the opportunity to work and earn money with dignity. They've
done more to help the New Orleans Musicians then any other group that I know of.
- Dr. Michael White, noted New Orleans bandleader/historian
It’s been 18 and even 20 hour days for Jazz Foundation’s Executive Director
Wendy Oxenhorn and her small staff who “normally” handle 500 cases a year.
Since Katrina, they've assisted 1,100 New Orleans emergency cases, and were
still there for 600 of their regular elderly musicians in crisis who they
normally serve. But the Jazz Foundation needs to keep going and needs our help.
“Their troubles will not go away anytime soon. We need people to support
such organizations as ours who are doing what the government is not ” says
Jarrett Lilien, President of E*TRADE FINANCIAL and the Jazz Foundation.
“With the Jazz Foundation, It’s simple; you give to them and they give to
the musicians in crisis who made our lives rich all these years” says Richard
Parsons, CEO & Chairman of TIME WARNER Inc., “It’s a wonderful organization and
they do exactly what they say they do.”
This year you’ve seen and heard about the Jazz Foundation on CNN, ABC, NBC,
CBS, WOR, FOX . HBO, WBGO and NPR and you’ve read about it in PEOPLE Magazine,
Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Post, Daily News, Associated Press and 98
other publications, television and radio stations around the world.
It is the work of the Jazz Foundation that attracted people like Danny
Glover, who joined their Board of Directors, and Richard Parsons, their Board of
Advisors, and Bill Cosby, Elvis Costello, Quincy Jones, Bonnie Raitt and Chevy
Chase are also dedicated supporters..
“As rewarding as it has been to be there for these heroic men & women, it
has been devastating to see the effects of the aftermath on families. More then
anything, to see this destruction of a world like no other, where music once
filled the streets 24 hours a day and it was commonplace to see 12 year olds
walking home from school, practicing the trumpet. If low income housing is not
created for artists and for the poor, the very garden that grew this city of
music will be at risk of extinction and New Orleans will become a cardboard
city without a soul” says Wendy Oxenhorn, Executive Director of the Jazz
Foundation of America. “We must find a way to bring the people of New Orleans back
home and stop this unconscionable man-made devastation of American families and
Jazz Foundation Programs:
· HOUSING: Days after the Flood, because of the ongoing efforts and
contributions of Jarrett Lilien, President of E*TRADE FINANCIAL & JFA, as well
as the special people at E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp., the JFA was able to
establish New Orleans’ first post-Katrina Emergency Housing Fund for musicians —
housing, relocating and saving hundreds of New Orleans musicians
and their families from homelessness and mortgage foreclosure in nearly 20
· EMPLOYMENT: Through the beautiful heart of “Saint Agnes” Varis, of
Agvar Chemicals Inc, the Jazz Foundation created the first performance
employment program, which has grown into an $800,000 solution. This Agnes Varis
Jazz Foundation in the Schools Program was also made possible with the help of
Richard Parsons & the good people at TIME WARNER Inc.
To date, this program has already given 3,100 individual employment
opportunities. It has put several hundred displaced musicians back to work, with a
minimum of $200 per gig, bringing free performances to thousands of children in
schools and the elderly in nursing homes, in over eight states where the
musicians have been forced to settle.
* Recording sessions are being planned to give musicians a CD they can sell
to help increase income at club & festival gigs.
· $250,000 OF DONATED INSTRUMENTS:
Through the huge hearts at Music & Arts Center ,Yamaha and New York’s
Beethoven pianos the Jazz Foundation secured over $250,000 worth of new top-shelf
instruments to New Orleans most beloved senior and junior jazz and blues
artists, including Treme Brass Band, Rebirth Brass band, The Hot 8, Davell Crawford,
Shannon Powell, Dr. Michael White, Henry Butler, Lionel Ferbos (age 95) Cyril
Neville, Derwin Perkins just to name a few.
· It was the Jazz Foundation of America that replaced Fats Domino’s
piano after the Flood.
QUOTES FROM NEW ORLEANS
... They came to my rescue..!!!
The JAZZ FOUNDATION of AMERICA is a 'for real' Benefactor...
Keeping The Music ...and the MUSICIANS....ALIVE!
-Harold Battiste, celebrated
(Cher's former music director and started first African
American owned record label in the 50's to empower the musicians to own their own
The Jazz Foundation of America it is doing wonders for New Orleans musicians.
It’s been a beautiful association. They not only housed us but they put us
back to work. And they are also some of the nicest people I ever knew.
- Wardell Quezergue, celebrated arranger/producer/musician
( "You Send Me", "Chapel of Love," "Mr. Big Stuff")
“The Jazz Foundation is doing an amazing job preserving New Orleans music,
its culture and the musicians themselves, for generations to come.”
-James Andrews, noted N.O. musician
“The Jazz Foundation has been keeping us musicians afloat, don’t know what
we would have done without them. They are doing for us what the government
should have. “ - Corey Henry (Lil’ Rascals Band)
“No matter the race, class or genre of jazz, when New Orleans musicians
needed help, the Jazz Foundation was there with arms to embrace them”
- Jesse McBride, New Orleans musician
“The physical destruction and psychological vacuum that remains has surpassed
my wildest imagination. Through the darkness of this disaster the generosity
of the Jazz Foundation of America, and especially the Agnes Varis/Jazz
Foundation in Schools Program has helped begin to save one of New Orleans most
cherished natural resources, it's music.” Jay Griggs, New Orleans musician
“It’s hard for people to imagine what it’s like to go through something
like this, and to then start over with nothing. The Jazz Foundation was there
for us every time … they made it all possible. I don’t know what we would
have done without their help. The light is coming back after so much darkness,
darkness I thought would never end, and now everything’s going to be all right.
I am overwhelmed … and so very, very grateful.” — “
Rodney Rollins, New Orleans musician – former drummer with Irma Thomas
“I find solace in the thought that there are real angels watching out for
us helping to mitigate the burden of the compromises we make in our
fight for a more beautiful world through jazz.”
-Evan Christopher - noted New Orleans musician
ONE MUSICIAN’S STORY
After being displaced by Katrina, the Rollins family of New Orleans, like
many Katrina survivors, ended up in a city far from home. There had been
frightening moments — like having to search for their oldest son who had first stayed
behind because wouldn’t leave without his dog. They found their son, but the
police would not allow his one year old puppy, Zina, to evacuate. They had to
leave her in the house with bags of dog food. Three months later, when they
were allowed to return, the dog was still alive! The ASPCA would not let their
son take the large dog out of state until they had a house with a backyard.
They were forced to settle in Atlanta. Mom, Dad, four children and two baby
grandchildren, but at least they were alive and together. It was difficult, it
meant living in a small apartment in a rough part of town. Ella, mother with
four children at home, secured a full-time job at a local chain store making
$233 a week before taxes —
Rodney, her husband, who had always earned his living as a musician in New
Orleans, was now employed by the same store as his wife, he was working the
night shift, she was working days. Wendy Oxenhom remembers the day he called in a
panic. Their teenage son, Davon, (a young pianist), was in the hospital after
trying to save the younger ones from a grease fire on the stove. He was so
worried that they might lose their new home, after all they’d lost in New
Orleans, that he actually carried what was on fire, out of the house. They didn’t
know if he would ever be able play piano again because his hands were badly
burned, he also could not walk for a month and a half because of burns on his feet
and legs. They had no health insurance and the Rollins’ needed help.
Months later, Davon has healed, and he can play the piano again and walk just
“When this first happened I was so depressed” said Davon. ”The Jazz
Foundation called the hospital social worker and got me Medicaid insurance. Then Wendy
told me that with all these burns and bandages, I would need some cool
clothes and they gave me $500 to the best store in town and I even got to rent a
tuxedo for the Prom. She even got me some gloves to cover my hands, I felt so
great, I went to the prom and I never thought that would happen. They made me
feel comfortable with my scars. Wendy emailed and called, always checking on me,
like a friend would do.”
Within a week, The Jazz Foundation moved the family into a wonderful house,
with a backyard in lovely neighbourhood, thanks to E*TRADE FINANCIAL, where
they could now be reunited with “Zina” the puppy.
Currently The Jazz Foundation is trying to help Davon get into college, but it
’s a struggle because his high school transcripts were lost in the Flood.
They have moved the family back to Louisiana and Rodney will be employed in the
Jazz in the Schools Program.
“We’re going back to New Orleans,” said Rodney. “Thanks to the Foundation,
I will be playing music again, like I am supposed to do on this Earth. I’m
getting back my purpose in the world. I’m getting the music back, and that’s
what will keep my soul alive.”
<http://www.jazzfoundation.org/> To make a donation:
Jazz Foundation acknowledges special thanks and love to all we worked with in
this effort. What we cannot do alone, we can do together: Baton Rouge
Foundation, Musicares, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Higher Ground, N.O. Musicians
Clinic, NOMHRF, Tipitina’s Foundation. Actor’s Fund, Society of Singers,
Preservation Hall and all the others who are working as we are, to help keep the
More information about the jja-announce