NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the non-profit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, announced today that they have established the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund
– a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana musicians who have lost income amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented crisis has led to the indefinite cancellation of gigs, event postponements, and venue closures around the world. It has left many Louisiana musicians and others who work in the music industry facing a total or near-total loss of income for the foreseeable future.
The Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund
was created by the Foundation to support Louisiana musicians whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. The Foundation Board has dedicated $250,000 to the relief fund in this first phase of giving. The board plans to continue to explore opportunities to support Louisiana’s music culture during this crisis to expand upon its existing community support.
The Jazz & Heritage Foundation has invested proceeds from Jazz Fest directly into the community with grants to fund projects that support the Foundation’s mission
. Over the last 10 years, more than $6.1 million dollars have been awarded in Community Partnership Grants. Through the Jazz & Heritage Relief Fund
, the Foundation will continue its support of Louisiana’s music industry professionals during these uncertain times. Establishing this fund is part of its wider plan to support the local cultural community in the coming weeks.
Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Don Marshall, said “Performances and concerts are being cancelled and musicians are losing opportunities to support themselves and their families. For generations, the musicians of our community have provided the soul of Louisiana. The goal is to help our musicians impacted by quarantine, disruptions of income, and other challenges, while ensuring an equitable distribution of funds.”
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Board President, Jeffrey Goldring, added that “The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation invests proceeds from Jazz Fest and additional funds that we raise for year-round programming in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. Our education programs include the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music
, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lectures, the Class Got Brass competition for school brass bands, a youth audio workshop program, youth vocal workshops, and more! Economic Development initiatives include the Community Partnership Grants, the Catapult Fund accelerator program and Sync Up entertainment industry workshops. Cultural enrichment programs include the Jazz & Heritage Concert Series and annual Foundation Festivals: the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival and the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival. Importantly, these are free programs that the Jazz and Heritage Foundation has developed over many years to ensure that we give back to Louisiana. The Jazz & Heritage Relief Fund is a natural extension of the work we have been doing for the community since 1979. “
The Jazz & Heritage Foundation also owns radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM and the Jazz & Heritage Archive. In late 2014, the Foundation opened the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center – an education and community facility named for Jazz Fest founder George Wein and his late wife Joyce.